I am going to make this brief. Forcing “religion” on employees violates their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Even when the religion is made up. Where did this come from?
Here are the particulars:
- A company named United Health Programs of America required employees (according to the EEOC) to “worship” an onion.
- The onion was known as “Onionhead.”
- His motto was “peel it – feel it – heal it”
- Employees were required to participate in “group prayers, candle burning, and discussions of spiritual texts”
- According to the EEOC employees who did not participate were terminated.
- Onionhead is the creation of the Harnessing Happiness Foundation.
- “Onionhead” is part of Harnessing Happiness, which uses a genderless onion “as a medium to express peeling our feelings, as a way of healing our feelings.”
- The Harnessing Happiness Foundation says worshipping Onionhead is not a religion. But on their website Onionhead appears to include sincerely held moral or ethical beliefs about what is right and wrong.
- The EEOC does not agree with them. They define religious practices to include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. To the EEOC, if it sounds like a religion, looks like a religion, is delivered like a religion it is a religion, regardless of how strange.
- According to Jon Hyman at the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog this will be an easy decision for the EEOC.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Thanks for the inspiration to Jon Hyman
Image courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net