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Chick-Fil-A accused of discrimination

By | February 18, 2011 | News

Chick-fil-A, the fast food restaurant chain that claims to have invented the chicken sandwich, has been accused of discriminating against employees in some locations nationwide.

The restaurant was accused of discrimination after allegedly sponsoring a group called Focus on the Family— an organization that is against gay marriage and abortion rights.

The company has more than 1,500 locations across the United States, and is the only national fast-food chain that is closed on Sunday.

“Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring God,” the company’s founder, S. Truett Cathy said.

Those who operate Chick-fil-A franchises are expected to utilize their Sundays by going to church and spending time with their families, and those who don’t go along with the rule risk having their contracts terminated.

“You don’t have to be a Christian to work at Chick-fil-A, but we ask you to base your business on biblical principles because they work,” Cathy, who opened his first restaurant in 1946, said.

There are disagreements about non-Christians being allowed to work at one of Cathy’s restaurants. Aziz Latif was a Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston when he refused to participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program. The following day he was fired.

Aziz, who is Muslim, sued for employment discrimination. His attorney said that Aziz was fired “for not conforming.”

“Religion should not be brought into the workplace,” attorney Ajay Choudhary said. “Prayer should be, if anything, a private purpose, not a corporate purpose.”

The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.

Mark Baldwin, senior communications supervisor for Chick-fil-A, turned down “an interview at this time,” but sent a press release titled Chick-fil-A’s Closed-on-Sunday Policy. The policy states that “…more than 60 years ago, Cathy knew that he would not deal with money on the ‘Lord’s Day.’ Today, the Closed-on-Sunday policy is reflected in the company’s Corporate Purpose:” To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A has promoted religious groups through their children’s meals as well, including toys from the Christian television series “VeggieTales” and CDs from the Christian radio program “Adventures in Odyssey”, which is produced by the evangelical Christian organization Focus on the Family.

Chick-fil-A funds the WinShape Foundation, whose endeavors include summer camps for boys and girls, foster homes and a marriage retreat. The stated purpose of the latter is “to minister to couples in strengthening their marriages.”

Not everyone is welcome, however. While Chick-fil-A will serve chicken sandwiches to gays, same-sex couples are not accepted at the marriage retreat.

“We do not accept homosexual couples,” was the official reply from WinShape.

At Fresno State’s Chick-fil-A location, assistant manager Marisol Martinez referred all inquiries to corporate headquarters in Atlanta.

The campus Chick-fil-A does offer certain advantages.

“There’s never a line,” freshman Kaylen Burton said. “It’s easy and convenient.”

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8 Responses to Chick-Fil-A accused of discrimination

  1. Anonymous says:

    Geeze, chick-fil-a is clucking annoying. Why does a business about frying up chickens have to clucking turn into something religious. Clucking crazy mother cluckers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Legal jihad and leftist militant antics. I can see why leftists and islamists are so close.

    • Philosotroll says:

      Yeah, because, as we all know, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was the product of leftist militant groups.

      As far as legal language goes: according to sec. 200e-1 it looks like Chick-Fil-A doesn’t meet any of the exemptions for religious discrimination.

      If it turns out to be the case that Aziz was fired for refusing to pray with the group then it violates section 200e-2, subsection c1: “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization o exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

      If the facts of the case bear out, then it’s a slam dunk case even under the most conservative interpretations of that statute. I’m not sure what the “leftists and islamists” are so close to, but frankly I’m happy that, in America, we’re enforcing American laws that are (at least in this case) relatively unambiguous.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If a company’s founder wants to close on Sundays, whether it’s based on religious or secular reasons, it is their business. It just sucks for their customers who love to eat chicken carcass on sundays. To say that one doesn’t want to deal with money on Sunday because of their beliefs about history, cosmology, theology and the sort, is simply letting the world know that they are a whack job, but that is neither here nor there.

    As far as firing someone for being Muslim…that may be a reflection on that store’s management, but maybe not. Maybe the ethos of much of the company is deranged. I don’t know why people like eating their though anyways. Their chicken sucks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is pretty sad that people are now going after the Chickens. I know these are desperate times. But it seems that everybody is trying to be a quick buck artist now suing for every little thing possible too make some money. Just a sad world!

  5. awordguy says:

    They can close seven days a week, as far as I’m concerned.

  6. Bob Snarky says:

    I sure hope those are Christian Chickens they’re frying up. Because it’s straight to Hell if you choke on an Atheist Chicken!

  7. David Powell says:

    I am not upto speed on what current or standing labor and Corporate laws & regulation may be. My opinion and belief are that private companies should have the right to hire or not hire based on religious beliefs. I know that they can not descrimnate based on “Race (ethnicity or nationality), Gender, physical disabilty or size. I think that the corporate statement is judgmental againt people, which is not what a Good Servent of Christ would do.
    It’s okay to say that certain behaviors and action are not what God wants for us (Acts of the Fleash) which also do include any act or though that is not about GOD, work for GOD, or the way GOD wishes for us to treat our nieghbor (which includes the whole WORLD)
    So please lets do no harm. This will push away opportunities for people to come to know GOD:)

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