Judge: Owner can't lecture employees on religion
A southwest Iowa grocery store owner who lectured an employee on her religious beliefs must pay her unemployment benefits, a state judge has ruled.
The case centered on a question that often divides civil libertarians and people of faith: Do business owners have the right to advocate for their religious beliefs in discussions with employees?
Of course not. Religious harassment and come-ons are as offensive as sexual harassment and sexual come-ons. They're both unwelcome and both criminal.
[Sherri] Chafin worked for the Tabor Market & Deli from September 2011 to January 2012, when she walked off the job.
According to Chafin’s testimony at the hearing, the meeting she had with Stille on her last day of employment began with the store owner preaching to her about the wisdom of King Solomon, and then questioning her lifestyle.
[Judge] Elder sided with Chafin in the case, awarding her benefits after finding that Stille’s conduct was, at best, “inappropriate, unacceptable and unprofessional,” and had created an intolerable work environment.
His conduct also was potentially unlawful, she ruled.
"Potentially"? Talk about downplaying something.
As for Chafin, she may be less likely to run into workplace proselytizing in her current job at Romantix, an adults-only store in western Iowa that sells merchandise of a sexual nature.
“I’ve been there for 14 months now,” she told The Des Moines Register this week. “I’ve never had any problems with my boss.”
The employer who sells sex doesn't harass, while the one spewing religion does.