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Old 04-13-2014, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Ohio
1,268 posts, read 622,766 times
Reputation: 1460

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I just left a position with a company that touted spirituality as a pillar of their philosophy. Since it is in healthcare, I was not alarmed. Many find solace in a connection with the spiritual when dealing with health issues. The problem is it was code for Christian. This company prayed to god before meetings, hired a Chaplain, and would send Bible versus in the signature line of emails. For the most part, I would sit quietly and endure, but it was very uncomfortable for me. I am sure there are others, like me, that are uncomfortable. I am now debating looking into some sort of recourse to stop this forced worship. I am not a revolutionary, but it is uncomfortable to be told, "Spirituality is one of our pillars. We let prospective employees know that. They can leave if they don't like it".

Side note: the company is largely founded by government funding via Medicare and Medicaid, and I am an atheist.

Does anyone have experience with filing a claim against a former employer? Should I pursue this? If so, where do I start?
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:31 AM
 
Location: northwest Illinois
2,331 posts, read 2,638,303 times
Reputation: 2433
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsb62574 View Post
I just left a position with a company that touted spirituality as a pillar of their philosophy. Since it is in healthcare, I was not alarmed. Many find solace in a connection with the spiritual when dealing with health issues. The problem is it was code for Christian. This company prayed to god before meetings, hired a Chaplain, and would send Bible versus in the signature line of emails. For the most part, I would sit quietly and endure, but it was very uncomfortable for me. I am sure there are others, like me, that are uncomfortable. I am now debating looking into some sort of recourse to stop this forced worship. I am not a revolutionary, but it is uncomfortable to be told, "Spirituality is one of our pillars. We let prospective employees know that. They can leave if they don't like it".

Side note: the company is largely founded by government funding via Medicare and Medicaid, and I am an atheist.

Does anyone have experience with filing a claim against a former employer? Should I pursue this? If so, where do I start?
I would seek employment elsewhere. I am also a atheist, and make no bones about it if questioned and my employer can care less what it's employees follow and that works for me. NO employer should be allowed to bully you into a belief you're not comfortable with, especially one which is false.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:46 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,518 posts, read 2,446,358 times
Reputation: 23951
Yes that would make me very uncomfortable also. But I'm not sure it would be worth your effort, time and money to pursue the company especially since you said they were upfront about it in the beginning. It is a shame, but maybe you should focus on a new job where they have respect for their employees. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:12 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,738,704 times
Reputation: 1328
contact the ACLU or something, be available for them but focus on your new job. Gather the evidence you have, also contact your ex-employer about your grievences in a nice manner (if you have time), help them understand where they were going wrong as a "secular gov-supported institution" pushing Christianity in the guise of the also intrusive "spirituality." if they care about virtues, then push virtues, spirituality and Christianity arent virtues. Ask them how they and their factions would feel if somewhere out there there was a company in healthcare taking givernment funds while pushing the pillars of "Atheist Reasonableness" and "down-to-Earthness" instead of "Christian spirituality." although letting them know might avert then to possible investigations so they will instead work to hide the evidence. Talk to more qualified people first ( a few) so they can guide you better as to how you can move forward voicing and handling your possibly well-due grievences.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:16 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,212,035 times
Reputation: 62049
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsb62574 View Post
I just left a position with a company that touted spirituality as a pillar of their philosophy. Since it is in healthcare, I was not alarmed. Many find solace in a connection with the spiritual when dealing with health issues. The problem is it was code for Christian. This company prayed to god before meetings, hired a Chaplain, and would send Bible versus in the signature line of emails. For the most part, I would sit quietly and endure, but it was very uncomfortable for me. I am sure there are others, like me, that are uncomfortable. I am now debating looking into some sort of recourse to stop this forced worship. I am not a revolutionary, but it is uncomfortable to be told, "Spirituality is one of our pillars. We let prospective employees know that. They can leave if they don't like it".

Side note: the company is largely founded by government funding via Medicare and Medicaid, and I am an atheist.

Does anyone have experience with filing a claim against a former employer? Should I pursue this? If so, where do I start?

Were you aware of the companies position regarding Prayer when you accepted the position?
If you were why did you accept the position? You should have told them you were not the right person for the position.

Why pursue stopping something you voluntarily took a pay check for? From what you have stated the worship was not and is not "forced" as long as you were aware of it when you accepted the position.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Ohio
1,268 posts, read 622,766 times
Reputation: 1460
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
Were you aware of the companies position regarding Prayer when you accepted the position?
If you were why did you accept the position? You should have told them you were not the right person for the position.

Why pursue stopping something you voluntarily took a pay check for? From what you have stated the worship was not and is not "forced" as long as you were aware of it when you accepted the position.
Actually, I was not aware of the prayer prior to accepting the position. They did mention spirituality, and I was amenable. I am a health care administrator, and many who are dealing with death and dying cling to a form of spirituality. This is generally reserved for our patients or the employees who wish to participate. I have no problem with respecting others, but I do have a problem being subjected and immersed in a culture centered on mythology. I am a very well trained professional, and I have the ability to help others. I accomplish it without uttering one prayer. I took a check because I performed my job and saved lives, it had nothing to do with volunteering. My employer is not entitled to push their idea of god down my gullet. Prayer was conducted daily without exclusion. Devotions to Jesus were read every morning, and emails contained Bible verses. That is not spirituality--it's Christianity.

Why should I not accept a position offering six figures, funded by government revenue resources? Are you insinuating I should not accept a position because my employer has different views on religion? The idea of freedom applies to all. Worship all you want; I am free to not worship. If tax dollars pay for your services, it is my right. I live in America, not Afghanistan. If I had to refuse every position because of a differing thought with my employer, I would never work. I venture to guess you wouldn't either. Of course, it would require you to think...so maybe?
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
1,479 posts, read 1,221,276 times
Reputation: 631
spirituality is synonymous with religion. more religious people are ditching the words religion and religious
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:41 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,883 posts, read 3,972,759 times
Reputation: 4136
I too am an atheist and I do not see it as any conflict. We have a number of clients (Especially the mentally ill ones) who are very into religion, and we know that this is an important and neccesary part of their healing. We respect that. We encourage them to explore that which is familiar and comfortable for them

Now if we had someone who had a religious addiction, then that may be a different scenario as the actions and the addictions are clearly detrimental to their healing.

Many of our clients are too ill to get out to church anyway, but for those who wish to, we encourage them to have someone pick them up and take them.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,354,235 times
Reputation: 4055
Government-funded entities shouldn't be pushing religion period.

If the patients want to be religious and want to make use of the chaplain what was hired, that's fine.

But employees shouldn't be compelled to attend prayer meetings or sit there and listen to devotions or get Bible verses sent to them in their emails.

Unfortunately, thanks to the Hobby Lobby lawsuit, we're going to see more employers pushing their personal religious beliefs onto their employees - essentially holding their livelihoods hostage with the "if you don't like it, leave" mantra.

Remember, "freedom of religion" in America means you are free to choose which Christian denomination to join, not that you are free to be non-Christian or non-religious.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:31 AM
 
12,540 posts, read 12,520,666 times
Reputation: 28901
Not sure why you would want to file a claim. It's not like you were fired for not praying, where you could claim discrimination. Also, this may very well be an at-will situation. If anything, they will argue that they are anything but discriminatory, having hired you even though you did not share their faith.

I agree with Shirina in that government-funded entities should not be pushing religion. However, in health care, that doesn't mean much. Plenty of Catholic hospitals and hospices have crucifixes on the wall, have literature that quotes the Bible, and so on, and they receive payment from Medicare and Medicaid. If an organization is credentialed as a provider, that's the important part. I can't imagine what would happen where I live, in the NY metro area, if health systems affiliated with a religion did not receive funding. There goes every hospital or system beginning with the word "Saint," New York Presbyterian Hospital, the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, etc. The people here would have almost nowhere to get health care!
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