Obviously, the headline is a gratuitous attempt to pique your interest:)
If you’re an employer, you know you have tough decisions to make sometimes when hiring people. Sometimes it requires making judgement calls. I’ve written numerous times about how important it is to not only do background checks on job candidates but to also carefully scrutinize what you find and put it in logical perspective.
It just seems that some employers are indeed the devil.
Sometimes a story comes along that makes you wonder if some employers are capable of that…hell, capable of logic at all.
I came across a story from November 2011 that sounds like something out of the 1980′s…when the “Devil in Rock and Roll” stories were making the headlines and Judas Priest was on trial because a supposed backward (let that sink in) message buried in one of their songs caused two kids to commit suicide…while listening to the song forward.
Personally, I own that album and in my high school years would sometimes go to sleep listening to the very song in question…and I’m still a live to write this article you’re reading.
Anyway, this story is from Georgia where a factory worker by the name of Billy E. Hyatt sued his former employer for religious discrimination…when he was fired because he wouldn’t wear the number 666 on a sticker on his uniform due to a strong religious belief that wearing the number would condemn him to hell.
You see, the company (Berry Plastics Corp) has a safety calendar where they track the number of consecutive accident-free days and eventually there were 666 consecutive accident-free days. Hyatt had made his religious beliefs known to his boss, Joe Richard, who told Hyatt not to worry and that maybe they’ll let the calendar “stay at 665″ for a couple of days.
However, when day 666 came Richard allegedly changed his position, calling Hyatt’s religious beliefs ridiculous and telling him he could either go to work with a “666″ safety sticker on his arm or face 3 day suspension. Hyatt took the suspension…then he was fired when he returned to work. Of course, he has filed a complaint with the EEOC and has apparently been given the green light to sue his former employer.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, look logically at this situation as it is a great example of the fact that emotions and personal prejudice are still factors in both the hiring process and the workplace and lead to bullying on different levels.
Just because someone is in a management position doesn’t necessarily mean they’re incapable of making a bonehead decision. Seriously…a 3-day suspension for not wearing a sticker?! Then this person is fired when they return to work…for not wearing a sticker.
Unless there’s some incredible detail missing here, this is proof positive that when you’re at a job interview…don’t forget that you’re interviewing THEM, too, to see if it’s a place you really want to work and a manager/employer you really want to work for.
“Plaintiff’s sincere religious belief as a Christian is that he should not wear any depiction of the number ’666′ as this number is a representation of Satan and/or that this number is the ‘sign of the beast,’” reads the complaint, filed in federal court. “This belief is based on Revelation 13:18 of the Holy Bible which says that ’666′ is the mark of the beast.”
Continues the complaint: “Plaintiff['s] sincere religious belief is that to wear the number 666 would be to accept the Mark of the Beast and be condemned to hell.”
The northern Georgia plant keeps a safety calendar recording the number of consecutive accident-free days, and workers then write the number on a sticker and wear it during their shift.
As the number of days crept into the 660 range, Hyatt—who had worked at the plant for more than two and a half years—discussed the issue with both his co-workers and his boss, Joe Richard. Richard told him not to worry—that perhaps there would be an accident, or that maybe they could let the calendar “stay at 665 for two days, or some other manipulation to prevent the safety calendar from displaying ’666.’”
But the plant reached 666 accident-free days in a row on March 12, 2010. Hyatt asked his boss for “religious accommodation,” but the boss said “that he was not going to change the safety calendar, that Mr. Hyatt’s religious beliefs were ridiculous, and that Mr. Hyatt could go to work with a ’666′ on his safety sticker or face a three (3) day suspension.”
Hyatt said he accepted the three-day suspension, but when he returned to work on March 17 he was fired.
He filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and his attorney, Stephen Mixon, told the Associated Press that the agency granted him the right to sue the company in August.
The company did not return calls and emails seeking comment, and has not responded yet in court.