Yes, Attempt To Recruit Christian Workers Violates State And Federal Law

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created image of a sing with text Atheists Need Not ApplyThe director of operations of a Subway franchisee, in West Virginia, sent letters to several churches and congregations saying his company was “in need of Christian employees.” I’m sure some people will not see the problem with such a letter, after all a business should be able to make hiring decisions that prefer a particular group of people. Some may think the guy was just trying to reach out to a segment of people to recruit more workers. The problem is that such outreach is actually against state and federal law.

Kermit Ball, the director of operations for Hammond Group Inc., which owns the Subways, sent the letter, publishing employment opportunities at the restaurants. It was sent to at least four churches and congregations in the Charleston and Huntington areas.

The letter, and subsequent statements from Ball, seem to imply that Hammond Group Inc. would prefer to hire Christian employees, finding them more honest.

The letter, in part, reads: “Due to changing times, we are looking for good honest people. If you have anyone in your congregation in need of a job, or new career, please have them contact us at the address provided above. We are looking for sandwich artists, shift managers, assistant managers and supervisers. The Hammond Group owns and operates 20 Subway restaurants. We are a Christian based company and in need of Christian employees.”

When asked about the letter, Ball reiterated its points.

“Robbery and theft in stores is really, really high and we’re trying to find honest people to run registers,” Ball said. “I’m not elaborating on anything, our owners are Christians.”

Letter seeking Christians as employees raises concerns

The letter may have violated state and federal law prohibiting printing “any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating any preference, limitation, specifications or discrimination based upon race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability or age.” The only exemption for the law is if the work is religious in nature – like a church doing the hiring for the church’s work.

It also doesn’t look like Mr. Ball was doing an innocent outreach to some Christians to recruit new workers. He actually believes that people who believe in his “god” are more honest than those who don’t.

Ball’s attempt at discrimination isn’t any different than past attempts where help wanted signs said “Irish Need Not Apply” or when businesses had signs saying it was “Whites Only”.

As for his assertion that Christians are more honest, a simple Google search will take that claim down.


*Update – 08/21/2013*

A reader, Mike, in the comments mentions that discrimination happens all the time in other areas and no cares about that:

The point I made is not that people break the law sometimes, it’s not about breaking the law. It’s about when it matters. It didn’t matter to anyone when a job description in a paper or a public posting online specifically stated they were looking for women or they were looking for people of a certain age. Those are two experiences I’ve personally had. And we know active recruiting is the name of the game. Employers actively recruit for a certain type of person all the time. But, what gets people up in arms? It depends on who is doing it, otherwise people don’t care. It happens to be a Christian looking for Christians. No one cares about a Women-Only business or that Oprah was actively recruiting for writers under 22 when she was putting together her network.

From Mike

There is an answer to Mike’s concern:

Title VII prohibits discrimination in all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment, including hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, job assignments, promotions, and discipline. Title VII also prohibits practices that seem neutral but have a disproportionate impact on a protected group of people. Such a practice is legal only if the employer has a valid reason for using it. For example, a strength requirement might be legal — even thoughit excludes disproportionate numbers of women — if an employer is using it to fill a job that requires heavy lifting. Such a requirement would not be valid for a desk job, however.

Federal Antidiscrimination Laws

So if an employer is wanting to hire a specific person or group then requirements of the job can only be filled by that specific group. The example used in the quote above is about a job requiring a certain strength. Another one is you wouldn’t have someone under 21 years of age working in a liquor store. Making sandwiches in a fast food place isn’t where you could justify discrimination for religion. Also keep in mind even if there is violation it still takes someone to file a complaint, so if it seems “no one cares” doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong or that the business shouldn’t get in trouble. Some discrimination isn’t as obvious as the Subway case.

Another point reader Mike made is the guy in West Virginia made a mistake by writing the letter and if he would have visited the churches in person he would be okay. The law says no. It is true the issue blew up because there was written proof not to mention his interview, but discrimination based on religion is wrong even if there is no printed flyers, letters, or signs.

Most competent businesses, unfortunately, learn to discriminate for other non-protected reasons such as just not liking the person or not liking their clothes. They might be looking for Christian workers but there are ways of doing it without being obvious and opening one up for lawsuit.


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  • dac

    That is the WORST photoshop job I’ve ever seen.

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      yes, that is the take away of the post that the image is a bad photoshop job. Thanks for the note

    • Brent Seavers

      Amen!

      Wait… is that word allowed on here?

      • Bawrence

        Sure, it isn’t like the word is Christian in origin. It’s the name of an Egyptian god.

    • Craig Fine

      It’s supposed to be bad…this whole thing is shit…that’s kinda the point.

  • Me

    He believes in god, probably in Santa, and also that Christians are honest… Obviously, he believes in every story ever told :)

    • Jim Jones

      My experience with Catholics only is that too many will rip off their own church.

  • The Bon_Scott

    Why do they demand their workers to believe in fairytales?

    • Nicain

      Why do you care who they want to make their work force up with? Maybe they serve theists and want people who can relate to them.

      Just because they don’t think like you do doesn’t mean you have a right to tell them how to run their business.

      • Chris Horner

        ‘Why do you care who they want to make their work force up with?’ because discrimination in recruitment policy based on religious beliefs (or lack of) is against the law.

      • Sieben Stern

        change ‘theists’ to ‘white people’.

        then read it back slooooowly.

        • peacemonger69

          Forcing someone who wants to hire only “white people” to hire blacks does not magically change their views about blacks. It actually a lot of animosity in the workplace. If you don’t like the hiring practice of a business, don’t spend your money there. That is a much more effective motivator for change

          • aidanjt

            One person might not spend their money there, but most people will spend simply because it might be cheaper, or isn’t aware of the issue. Money, ignorance (and even convenience) will always trump morality. That’s why we need government to step in and make corrections.

      • Bawrence

        So you think there is a ‘Theists only’ sign on the front door of a fast food chain in a public setting?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000037385225 Raw Burt

        What part of the federal antidiscrimination laws don’t you understand?

      • Jim Jones

        So white men only? Only Catholics? Only Jews? Only gay men? Only virgins? Where does this shit end?

      • ♠adeafmute♠

        Replace the word “theist” with “whites” Then realize why you need to shut the fuck up.

      • fed_up

        So you would be totally cool if I specified that I wanted only Atheists to work in my sandwich shop?

        And actually, the law is pretty clear on this. It does matter, and there are really good reasons why it matters.

      • Ella Silver

        Yes except for the fact that you clearly don’t understand how franchises work. It is not THEIR business. They have bought into a franchise but they do not OWN the franchise. See how it works? Somewhere out there there is a CEO that is responsible for corporate policy. Amd I’m guessing he or she isn’t gonna be too happy about this.

  • Mike Eden

    Discrimination is about not allowing a certain group of people to have a job. If an atheist walked into a Subway and applied for a job, he would have to be considered equally with everyone else. But, actively recruiting for a particular kind of person happens all the time. I see job descriptions that specifically state they want a woman or a person within a certain age group. No one gets upset about that.

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      Religion is one of the protected groups that an employer is not allowed to single out:

      “The letter may have violated state and federal law prohibiting printing
      “any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership
      indicating any preference, limitation, specifications or discrimination
      based upon race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex,
      disability or age.””

    • Mike Eden

      So are sex and age. But like I said earlier, no one cares about that. No one cares when an employer is actively recruiting for someone else. And they do! All the time!

      • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

        What is it you want to accomplish by pointing out sometimes not everyone follows the law? Some people don’t follow the traffic laws – so what? What is the point you want to make?

        • Sieben Stern

          he must be one of those ‘criminals break laws anyway, therefore we shouldn’t have laws’ types of people…

      • Mike Eden

        The point I made is not that people break the law sometimes, it’s not about breaking the law. It’s about when it matters. It didn’t matter to anyone when a job description in a paper or a public posting online specifically stated they were looking for women or they were looking for people of a certain age. Those are two experiences I’ve personally had. And we know active recruiting is the name of the game. Employers actively recruit for a certain type of person all the time. But, what gets people up in arms? It depends on who is doing it, otherwise people don’t care. It happens to be a Christian looking for Christians. No one cares about a Women-Only business or that Oprah was actively recruiting for writers under 22 when she was putting together her network.

        • Sieben Stern

          i think what you’re missing is that ‘being a christian’ doesn’t have anything to do with makin’ sammiches.

          being a woman under 22 actually effects what kind of writer you are (a creative position) versus being a 50 year old man. The insight and experience is different. Therefore you can recruit for the type of writing you need / target demographic.

          this isn’t so with religion, unless you’re hiring for a religious position, like a bible study teacher – you can say, we’re a baptist congregation, so we want a baptist teacher who knows how we interpret the bible.

          you don’t need to believe in god to make a sandwich. and considering the percent of christians in prison, you might want to aim for a different crowd if stealing is a problem…

          and on that point i have a feeling he doesn’t foster much confidence or moral in his workers if they’re ripping him off. I would take a hard look in the mirror if I were him.

      • OhioAtheist

        Actually, employment discrimination lawsuits are quite common.

    • Mike Eden

      I hadn’t realized you had made changes to the article. The last sentence you wrote is perfect. I was trying to open the discussion further, even knowing it was based on religion. But, I’m not disappointed in any way. I think I stated my point, it was heard, and I don’t have any need to fill up the discussion any further when it was the only point I was trying to make anyway. Thanks for quoting me by the way. Even though your answer makes a valid argument, and I’m not disputing it at all, I wouldn’t change one word in what I had to say. First of all, I don’t always agree with the law. If Oprah wants to hire young writers instead of us old fogies whose ideas might have gone stale and there isn’t enough pep in our step, more power to her. If a woman owns a business and wants to hire other women only, again I agree with her. Discrimination laws were put in place for a very good reason. But, those laws weren’t written exactly accurately. If I owned a business, I would hire whoever I wanted and I’d find a way to justify it under the guidelines of the law. I guess the point is, just don’t create the evidence that is required to fry you over it.

      • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

        I’m glad we are able to meet somewhere in the middle. Again thanks for your time to comment here. I appreciate it.

  • Better Off Damned

    Where though does it say he would hire ONLY Christians?

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      Read the post and the link to the newspaper article. The letter read in part “We are a Christian based company and in need of Christian employees.”

    • Mike Eden

      That’s the point I was making earlier. But, it’s obvious to me that point won’t get across. Actively recruiting for a certain type of person is very different from saying a certain group is excluded. Discrimination is being excluded. Active recruitment is looking for a certain type, but not excluding anyone. But, the fault lies with the Church and Ball for being so stupid in writing it down. He should have visited the church and mentioned he had a job opening. That would have made it legal. That’s the way it’s done everywhere else.

      • DisentAgain

        The problem is preference, Mike. It’s explicitly and clearly against the law to show preference for the religious. “Actively recruiting” is showing preference.

        “…any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating **any preference**, limitation, specifications or discrimination based upon race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability or age.”

      • Mike Eden

        Again, preferences of sex and age go ignored. This discussion is a perfect example, a small sample of what I mean. Even in this discussion, other preferences go ignored. But, we remain focused on the preference of religion. I’m going to go ahead and roll out of this conversation. I’ll leave you guys to go on agreeing with each other.

        • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

          Sorry you feel that way Mike. This post was only addressing this particular incident of religious discrimination. It is unfair to complain that sex and age discrimination is being ignored based on this post and the comments about the post. I am concerned about all discrimination. I was hoping you have given some specific concrete examples of sex and age discrimination that you think is being ignored.

          Thanks for the comments it was appreciated and I did include your points in an update to the post because I thought you mentioned something that I didn’t think I made clear in my original post. Thanks again

        • Tommy

          I love how you’re all arguing with mike using this, ““…any notice or advertisement relating to employment or membership indicating, limitation, specifications or discrimination based upon race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability or age.” But miss the point out where he mentions that there is jobs that go against it. Sure, making sandwiches isn’t tied to religion, but you guys aren’t seeing the bigger picture, what if the local area was majoritly christian, or the majority of their customers were christian? And don’t give me that insight crap, its a business. If i was making a music video, and the frontman was a young man, of course I would want young women in the background dancing, it appeals more to my fanbase of a younger audience. Would I hire a man? No I wouldn’t, even if he was extremely transgendered to the point where he looked like a girl like those japanese male rock and pop stars, no I wouldn’t. I’m going against your quote by doing this, aren’t I? Oh thats right, it’s called catering to the fanbase, to the target audience. Learn some business, even a man far on top said he would hire an atheist over a theist and would give the theist little to no consideration ,based on the tone of his statement, on an engineering job, but that got upvoted didn’t it, while mike, who does make a good argument gets downvoted….i’m sensing hypocrisy.

          • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

            Nobody is missing the “big picture”. The law has exceptions due to the requirements of the job as long as those requirements can only be filled by the preferred group. Not hiring a man if a video wants to have only dancing women isn’t discrimination. The application of the law isn’t all or nothing it is situational. Here is a bit on the federal law:

            “Such a practice is legal only if the employer has a valid reason for using it. For example, a strength requirement might be legal — even though it excludes disproportionate numbers of women — if an employer is using it to fill a job that requires heavy lifting. Such a requirement would not be valid for a desk job, however.”

            Just because there is some discrimination still doesn’t mean the anti-discrimination law should go away. Some people run red lights does that mean we need to do away with red lights?

  • Nick Anthony

    so typical of these kinds of people

  • Michael Dowling

    Honest christians? The prisons are full of people claiming to be christian. Atheists barely ever commit crimes! :)

    • Nicain

      That is the single most retarded statement I’ve ever heard in my life.

      • Chris Horner

        If by ‘retarded’ you mean ‘backed up with evidence’, yes. Atheists make up 0.2% of the prison population despite making up (depending on who is making the estimate) 5-15% of Americans.

      • Sieben Stern

        sorry the facts hurt… come out of your make believe bubble now and again.

        here’s a link to the data, apparently .07% of the prison pop is atheist – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/16/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-its-a-lot-smaller-than-we-ever-imagined/

        • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

          There are huge incentives to “find God” in prison! Like increased opportunity for parole, and visits from churches. The Muslim contingent also has a special ministry in prisons – like join or else.

          It is totally understandable that there are few atheists in prison for another reason: many don’t even know what the word means. They believe in “whatever” will get them through the day,

          The employer in this case believes Christians are more likely to be good workers than non-Christians. Christians can face eternal damnation for their sins in addition to societal punishment and condemnation. This may make them better employees. Why shouldn’t the employer be allowed to make that choice?

          • Martin Zeichner

            And that is precisely the point. By granting unwarranted privilege to christians you are, on the one hand encouraging non christians to lie and claim that they are christians and on the other hand giving christians the ability to be dishonest and flout morality merely because they are christians.

          • ithinkerer

            What if the employer believed that slaves are more likely to be good workers, than non-slaves? Slaves can face a beating, a lashing and a lynching, which is much more real and immediate than the punishment Christians “might” face for their disobedience. Should employers be allowed to have slaves? :)

          • Guest

            I don’t know, ask the Christians that owned them.

          • http://leftsideannie.wordpress.com/ Leftside_Annie

            They’ve been trying to turn us all into slaves for years – taking away benefits, pensions, screwing workers out of overtime pay, forcing down wages…any other stupid questions, bro?

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            Your thinkerer must be on the blink. The analogy is totally inappropriate.

          • Richard Maschmeyer

            Christians believe all people are fundamentally flawed beings and the only way to get into heaven is through grace.

            Why would they not lie? It wouldn’t be that much of a deal, as they already believe they are flawed and they can just pray for forgiveness.

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            Christians try to do the right thing… They acknowledge that they fail. They confess and try again. They just don’t ” do what ever” because they can be forgiven.

          • Richard Maschmeyer

            “They confess and try again.”

            Sounds like doing what ever and praying for forgiveness if it goes badly to me. Is there a sin so bad that you are irredeemable in the eyes of God? If not, you can do WHATEVER.

          • usapastime

            That is the difference in a Christian and an atheist. You see I can do whatever! I see I should not do that because it wrong and try not to!

          • Bone Wilder

            You have no idea what happens in prison. Stop making stuff up when you are presented with facts.

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            Who made you boss? What if the “facts” are flawed stats.

          • Bone Wilder

            Well then prove they are “flawed” and everyone will be like “check out smarty pants over there”. But we both know you can’t do that.

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            There is a small book that everyone should read called, “How to lie with statistics.” I do not have to redo the experiment to find the flaw in the statistics cited here.. Parole boards view “found God” as a positive in considering release. Prisoners are asked in a survey – even if they are told that it is anonymous, they are not going to believe the administering authority – if they are religious, they are going to say “yes” because they do not want it t come up and bite them the ass at the parole board hearing.

          • Chris K

            By that logic. I could say black people work harder than mexicans… Why cant i just hire black people..

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            You can. And it has been tested in court. But you can’t hire only white people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000037385225 Raw Burt

        You should buy a clue and do some research. After computing ratio, Atheists are less than 1 percent of our prison population. Face it, our prisons are filled with christians. Meanwhile our scientists, philanthropists and places of higher learning are filled with Atheists. Do the math if you know how.

      • Jim Jones

        “If all the Atheists & Agnostics left America, the US would lose 93% of the National Academy of Sciences & less than 1% of the prison population”.

        — Ricky Gervais

      • Michael Dowling

        Sieben Stern is correct, the facts demonstrate the truth of my statement. Nicain, do you have some facts you wish to present, or are you just responding with emotion and wishing that the situation were different?

      • http://movingthelamppost.com/ Augustine Dunn

        Look. Most of you don’t have direct experience with people who work in prisons.

        I happen to be a non-believer, but those stats about atheists making up such a small proportion of the prison population is MASSIVELY flawed. For one thing, there are huge pressures to “affiliate” with a gang upon incarceration and those gangs dictate your life to you. If they say you are christian, then you better not be caught saying anything different or you will reap the consequences. Also, there are activities like Chapel and other things that let you get out of your cell for an hour or so that are based on religious affiliation. Also, there is a perception that claiming a religious affiliation will look good to the parole board.

        This is just the beginning of why it may make us feel nice to quote this stuff but its basis in on VERY shaky ground.

        • James Martini

          So your saying that the number of atheists in prison is underreported because the Christians in prison will savagely beat or kill someone who does not follow their creed? Interesting.

          • GoIndy2012

            That might be the most reductive response to what was a very good point I’ve ever read. In fact, the poster did not state any negative implications of not being affiliated just positive ones of being affiliated.

          • Kit Love

            “if they say you are christian, then you better not be caught saying anything different or you will reap the consequences”

            it was obviously implied

          • James Martini

            I’m pretty sure that “huge pressures to affiliate” includes some of the more negative consequences of being in prison.

            I don’t doubt that preferential treatment is given to those that profess piety that include not only increased time out of cell but probably more leniency in parole hearings, I’m simply not glossing over what may be the most immediately pressing factor in an inmates choice to profess religion when they have none.

          • XCellKen

            “I’m pretty sure that “huge pressures to affiliate” includes some of the more negative consequences of being in prison.”

            You mean “Don’t drop the soap in a shower full of Christians ???

          • Bone Wilder

            Wait, are you some type of potato?

          • http://TheSouthernConservative.com/ CM Phillips

            Muslims are even more aggressive.

      • Denis F

        Sorry if the reality of evidence undermines your bigotry but Christians are over represented in prisons (compared to atheists) by a factor of about 40 to 1 (FYI it varies by christian denomination).

        If he genuinely wanted “ethical” people (based on evidence) then he should have advertised for atheists – but that would have been illegal too.

      • Alan Joseph

        Nicain, you’ve lived a pretty sheltered life.

  • heykyleinsf

    honest christian, jumbo shrimp, clean toilet, it’s an awfully good accurate stereotype.

  • UtahSamuel

    What is the statistic? .05% of inmates are Atheists. Come now children, Christians are afraid of a mystical fiery pit with a red guy with horns and a pitchfork and they can accept Jesus on their deathbed and be forgiven for anything. Not much incentive and a lot of self deception.

    Atheists are concerned with the here and now and recognize the empirical impact of their decisions as well as their effect on their emotional well being.

    Who would you choose?

    • GoIndy2012

      UGHHH. The biggest problem I have religious people is that they tend to demonize and condescend to those who don’t share their beliefs. That is exactly what you are doing…it must be nice to be so confident of your superiority. How many aetheists do you know? I know quite a few and most of them are not this ideal person who “recognize the empirical impact of their decisions”; they are just flawed humans like everyone else.

      Also, addressing a crowd as children is super obnoxious and implies your intellectual superiority to even the group of atheists your are addressing so perhaps you dont think as highly of them as you claim.

      • Joshua Landau

        Thank you for the data you used to back up your point. As everyone knows, your anecdotal evidence overwrites the objective facts that you were presented with.

        • GoIndy2012

          How exactly is data relevant to the point I was making, or for that matter the point UtahSamual was making? Beyond that, you have a really poor understanding of an objective fact if you think that a stat without a source on a message board qualifies. The stat cited is wrong, the information available says that .02 percent of inmates are atheists and even the source of that information admits that the survey methods used were flawed.

          The point I was trying to make, and if I did so poorly I apologize, is that an individuals spirituality or lack of spirituality is not a good indicator of whether or not they are a good person. The world is just not that black and white.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/16/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-its-a-lot-smaller-than-we-ever-imagined/

          • Joshua Landau

            > How exactly is data relevant to the point I was making,

            I don’t know…

            Maybe when you said “The biggest problem I have religious people is…” you were making a claim for the general religious (or non-religious, the grammar obscures the specifics) populace.

            Maybe when you said “How many aetheists do you know? I know quite a few and…” you were attempting to use data to make a point about the general atheistic populace.

            > or for that matter the point UtahSamual was making?

            That one’s easy.

            It firstly refutes the article’s claim that christians are more honest than atheists.

            Secondly it supports his theisis that atheists are better able to hold moral judgement.

            > you have a really poor understanding of an objective fact if you think that a stat without a source on a message board qualifies.

            This actually represents a flaw in your understanding of a fact (objective or not). A fact is independent of its presentation.

            Although I did mean, rather, to say “data”.

            > The stat cited is wrong [... and] the survey methods used were flawed.

            Thank you for the clarification, although it’s not a big deal as, regardless of the specific number, the general trend is agreed with and the theory holds despite.

            > The point [...] is that [...] spirituality [...] is not a good indicator of whether [...] they are a good person.

            But, again, you have not given any evidence to contradict the much stronger data that UtahSamual has against you.

            I’m not passing judgement, but if I was I’d go with the guy who justified his point.

            > The world is just not that black and white.

            Heh.

          • UtahSamuel

            Joshua, congratulations, you can make a valid argument. I love that!!!!

            Since facts are demanded of me, I did a little research. 5-10% of the prison population is unaffiliated, but no attempt to break that down into actual Atheists versus nihilist/spiritual/agnostic or specific types of Atheists has ever been done.

            I will admit I just through up a stat that I heard going around. Glad I know it is unsubstantiated. I still hold to my premise that actual Atheists make up a grossly, disproportionately small % of the prison population versus the actual population as well as the assertion of why that is the case; that to be an Atheist you have to define values and morality for yourself, thus making those values and your life/freedom… more valuable.

      • Ella Silver

        There are stupid everybodies out there. That doesn’t make the law this place is breaking any less broken.

      • UtahSamuel

        Who is condescending in this situation Golndy? You feel superior enough to talk down to me, are you not the one on his high horse? I never said Atheists were not flawed, I suggested that Atheists tend to be more moral because they have to define their morality for themselves rather than have it dictated to them, which gives their morality a higher personal value. It doesn’t mean they aren’t human. Check your premises.

        Mac, what is the real statistic? .08? Someone who would pretend to be religious to get out of prison is just a liar. They have no moral code to speak of, there for they are not Atheists. I bet there are a few real Atheists who lie to protect themselves, which I understand, but were they to be properly counted I think we would still see a staggering disproportionate statistic.

    • Mac

      I’m not a theist, but the inmate atheism statistic is very misleading. There are a lot of incentives in prison to “convert” to the point that there are very few who will refuse to say they’re religious. The statistic is basically saying that 0.5% of the prison population has extremely strong atheistic views, with a very large portion of the remaining population implying religious affiliation for personal gain rather than genuine belief.

  • Greg Scott

    I really require my ‘sandwich artist’ to have an imaginary friend.

    • Shoke Mage

      I thought the term was “Sandwich Engineer”?

  • Sieben Stern

    HM, how about he pay them more and treat them like humans. Maybe they wouldn’t steal from him if they felt like they were part of a team and had a decent job.

    Confucius said: “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”

    if you want to be surrounded by honest people – you must be honest yourself. God is the ultimate lie.

  • Nicain

    Nice non-answer to Mikes concern. You disregarded his point and countered with someone irrelevant. Oprah hiring 22 year old writers is the exact same thing as a atheists need not apply. I’m 34 and should be able, by this law, to have a fair shot to write for Oprah, but no law suits are filed there because this is just christian bashing.

    I’m an atheist, but I am tired of this unfair treatment because I am a libertarian before anything else. If you guys aren’t going to go after Oprah or every Chinese restaurant that only hires Chinese people, leave the theists alone in this. If a theist wants to run a business and hire theists let him, he’s probably only serving theists and wants his customer base to relate to them.

    If you were running a hip hop magi zine and wanted to hire urban kids to run it over some suburban kids that would make complete sense, you need to build your business to serve your customers. The fact he can’t because his base is theists is absurd.

    • Sieben Stern

      I work as an artist and I don’t think you understand. Something in the creative field is NOT the same as making sandwiches. Also, I highly doubt you, as a 34 year old male, have the same insight as a 22 year old woman. (this is another example of hip-hop zine hiring ‘urban’ kids over suburban ones)

      Example:
      I am a sculptor and I make animated style figures. I CAN apply for a job for a sculpting job making realistic sculptures, but I wouldn’t be hired as my skillset isn’t a direct match. (same with the writing, not same a making sandwiches)

      You understand that ‘you build a business to serve customers’ but can’t fathom that religion has nothing to do with sandwiches, and age and experience can affect writing style. Hm… don’t know how else to say that?

      and I’m sorry you feel bashed, but that’s not the case here. Christians can’t run roughshod and not expect to be called out on it. separation of church and state and all that.

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      I think if you read the post these comments are attached to you will find some answers to your concerns.

      Businesses can be run how the owners wish as long they don’t violate established laws and regulations. You might think that discriminating due to one’s religion is trivial but historically that is not the case.

      As Siben Stern mentions and the law makes clear some discrimination is allowed IF the job requires discrimination but the business would need to justify it to the government if a complaint is made.

  • Mike Zysman

    If a job required applying logic and critical thinking, would it be legal to discriminate against all theists?

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      What do you think? Would it be? Why or why not?

      • Mike Zysman

        I say yes, it is legal. If I hire a bridge engineer to make sure my construction is done properly, I expect them to use math and logic to get the job done. It’s unreasonable to me to expect a theist to put aside his praying and faith in the engineering process. While I realize there are probably many decent engineers who do this, it poses an additional and unnecessary risk to my business.

        • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

          I think in fact even evangelical fundies still use logic and critical thinking – just not for their religious beliefs. Unless one has a learning disability, most people gain some intelligence that is at odds to their religion but most of them rationalize it away or just ignore it.

          That’s why someone being religious shouldn’t be an automatic red flag no matter if the person is an atheist or a theist.

        • Ella Silver

          There are lots of very capable engineers who are also religious.

          You can’t discriminate on someone’s suitability based on religion. You need to see their educational history and work history and track record in both to even begin to evaluate how capable someone is at doing their job.

  • Barry

    “Another point reader Mike made is the guy in West Virginia made a
    mistake by writing the letter and if he would have visited the churches
    in person he would be okay. The law says no. It is true the issue blew
    up because their was written proof not to mention his interview but
    discrimination based on religion is wrong even if their is no printed
    flyers, letters, or signs.”
    Heads up, wrong ‘there’ is being used in this paragraph.

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      Good catch and I missed it twice. It has been corrected – thanks

  • Russ Williams

    People of all faiths and non-faiths are capable of committing crimes and I strongly disagree with Michael Dowling regarding his statement that “Athiests barely ever commit crimes.” That statement is simply absurd. The issue here is that the owners of these Subway Shops actually believe that christians are more honest than others and that, of course, if pure crap. This man is in dire need of learing the definition of a christian as do most christian churches today. If indeed these advertisements are against State and Federal law, then I feel that the State and the Federal Government should step in and bring charges against the owner. While the owner has a right to hire whomever he wants, it is unfair, immoral and possible illegal to exclude a portion of potential employees based on their personal beliefs. Michael’s statement about “prisons are full of people claiming to be christian” is correct but that is only because christianity is the largest religion in the US. Personally, I would never want to work for someone with the mentality of the owners of these Subway shops because I would always have the need to speak out against thier form of hyprocracy.

    • Michael Dowling

      I want to take issue with your denial of the truth of my statement. It was based on lots of statistics that indicate the number of christians in prisons. Second, the more educated one is the less likely one is to believe in the supernatural. Atheists tend to be in the most educated sectors of society. Third, Atheists are generally people who recognise the import of their own integrity and character and the need to do the right thing simple because it is right. Not because some old book instructs it or for fear of some super sky daddy. Therefore atheists tend to be far more moral than the rest of the population. Prove me wrong Russ.

  • LonesomeDove

    As to the ‘strength’ requirements mentioned above, could this employer’s lawyer that he is looking for a particular ‘moral strength’ in his employee? (I’m just playing ‘devil’s advocate here – I do not agree with tactics)

    • fed_up

      No, as it’s not a requirement of the job. Making sandwiches has very little to do with morality. Being able to lift heavy boxes when you say work in a auto parts warehouse is completely different.

  • langranny

    Since Atheists and Agnostics are generally smarter and more educated than Christians, they probably wouldn’t want to work at Subway, anyway…

  • Shoke Mage

    I work at a non-profit where all the workers are either Catholic or Protestant. (I am a closet Atheist, I still put on a facade of being christian to keep the peace.) All the hiring is done after interviews, and if it comes out that the person is not Christian, they are not going to get hired. Of course the reason given is something else, but I know the real reason is because of religion.

  • Allyson Homme

    Christians? Honest??? Oh, that’s a LAUGH and a HALF.

    Like all those Catholic priests, bishops, etc.; Christian ministers, preachers, and the like that ALL HAVE SEX with CHILDREN – nope, nuthin’ wrong with that.

    What an a$$hat.

  • kpax2012

    “Sandwich Artists” BAahahahaha

  • Logan England

    The thing is, I really would rather companies come right out and wear their bias on their sleeve so I can easily tell who to avoid.You can’t force the christian to sell his company, so I’d much rather see that he thinks atheists are dishonest so I wouldn’t waste my time applying, or eating, at his restaurant. Not that anyone needs to be eating the processed, chemical laden meat they call food at Subway.

  • fed_up

    So all of the religious people here who think this was totally okay, serious question: would you be okay if I discriminated against people who were Christian? If I said that I would only hire Atheists? Or Muslims? Or Jews? You wouldn’t at all say that it was an “attack on Christianity”? Because frankly, I have seen Christians claim that things like schools making holiday concerts inclusive (you know schools which are state institutions and therefore should be secular and non denominational) were discriminatory, and yet there are people in this very message thread stating that hiring only Christians based on a stereotype is totally okay.
    Do you at all see the hypocrisy in that????

  • Alex

    I think this franchisee is an idiot too. Don’t get me wrong. But this kind of thing goes on all the time. Why are only women allowed to be servers at Hooters? Doesn’t that discriminate against men and even transgender women?

    • BigDaddyBushyJ

      That’s kinda the selling point at Hooters though. It’s not discrimnation if that job is gender-specific in the first place. On the other hand, religion (or lack thereof) has no relation as to whether someone can do a job or not.

  • Trachevin

    “…after all a business should be able to make hiring decisions that prefer a particular group of people.” You’re kidding, right? Except for directly related education and experience and evidence of diligence and professionalism, preventing “preference” is the basis of virtually all employment anti-discrimination measures.

  • Bill Snoot

    That sign in the window is fake. Just saying

    • BigDaddyBushyJ

      No way! Nothing gets past you!

      BTW, I don’t think that’s really a photo of you. If it is, you’re using a fake name, JESUS

  • Reddog Redmond

    The message that the manager is really saying is that if you’re not Christian, you are dishonest and will cost their company money. This should be an insult to anyone who is not Christian, because Christians can’t even agree on what it means to be Christian. Don’t believe me? How many denominations are there under the umbrella of Christianity? Generally speaking, there are three main branches of Christianity, well actually two, but hear me out. There is the Protestant branch and the Catholic branch. That third branch is actually the Anglican Church, which in the early centuries of its existence, played the middle ground between the extremist of the Roman Catholic church and the early Lutherans and other Protestant Reformist of that era. I digress. The point of this story is that American Christian vary greatly based on demographics alone. So for this company to make such an assumption that being Christian will guarantee honest workers is a joke!!! There are great men and women throughout a cross section of varies groups. Seek to look for great qualities regardless of religion. You certainly won’t turn down money from someone who is not Christian so why turn down a nonChristian to work for you?

  • Alan Joseph

    So, the sign said “Atheists need not apply.” So, Satanists, Hindus, and Pagans are NOT atheists, and it is illegal to ask what your religion is at an interview. Let’s bus in some applicants.

  • http://leftsideannie.wordpress.com/ Leftside_Annie

    Heh. Honest Christians…? Two words: Pat Robertson. #FAIL

  • atheisticallyyours

    I will never eat at a Subway again! LET THE BOYCOTT BEGIN!

  • Norman plumley

    Oh I am so applying! :-)

  • Ace Otana

    Nothing like good old bigotry from the hateful religious.

  • Ella Silver

    This is a franchise. Somebody should make a complaint to the CEO of the franchise. Full stop.

  • Ella Silver

    So. Buddhists welcome then, I guess?