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Entries in Religion (4)

Tuesday
May222012

New Jersey Woman Says She Was Fired for Being too Busty

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New Jersey woman says she was fired from her job after her manager told her to "tape her breasts" down, and now has filed suit against the company claiming religious and sexual discrimination.

Former data entry worker Lauren Odes said that after two days with Native Intimates, a midtown Manhattan wholesale lingerie company, a supervisor told her the store owners were not happy with her outfit, suggesting it was too "distracting."

"When I first started working there, I asked what the dress code was, and I was just told to look around and see what everyone else was wearing," Odes said in a press conference Monday.  "So I did.  The dress was very casual athletic wear to business attire."

Odes said the company owners are Orthodox Jews who were offended by her attire.

At a news conference announcing the suit, she said that at first she compromised, saying she'd wear a gray T-shirt and black jeggings with rain boots to work, but that wasn't enough.

"When my supervisors suggested that I tape down my breasts, I asked 'Are you kidding me?'" Odes said.  "The supervisor said, 'Just cover up a little more.'"

The female supervisor then walked over to a closet, pulled out a bright red bathrobe decorated with pictures of guitars, and told Odes to put it on, she said.

"She told me to sit at my desk and wear it all day.  I felt completely humiliated," Odes said.  "She put the bathrobe on me and tied the belt and I returned to my desk wearing it."

Her supervisor then gave her the option of to go out and buy a sweater that "went to her ankles" instead of wearing the bathrobe, she said.  After being ridiculed and made fun of by co-workers, Odes said, she obliged.

But while she was out shopping for the sweater, the 29-year-old got a phone call saying she'd been terminated, she said.

Now, attorney Gloria Allred has filed suit against Native Intimates with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"The treatment was discriminatory, profoundly humiliating and unlawful," Allred said.

Odes, who said she is also Jewish, said no employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on employees.

"I do not feel an employer has the right to impose their religious beliefs on me when I'm working in a business that's not a synagogue, but sells things with hearts on the female genitals and boy shorts for women that say hot in the buttocks area," she said. ´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan262012

Alaska Air Ends 30-Year Tradition of Prayer Cards With Meals

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- After 30 years of giving passengers prayer cards with their meals, Alaska Airlines notified customers via email they would end the practice next week.

“Religious beliefs are deeply personal and sharing them with others is an individual choice,” according to Wednesday’s email, signed by airline CEO Bill Ayer and President Brad Tilden.

Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com and author of a travel column that appears on ABCNews.com, doubts that Alaska Airlines will experience much backlash from the decision. “For the handful of front-cabin folks served meals with a card, I am sure they will see the predicament that Alaska is in and not hold it against them,” he said.

Alaska Airlines stopped serving meals in economy class in 2006. Since then, only first-class customers received the prayer cards with their meals.

Alaska Airlines released its 2011 full-year income Thursday morning, reporting record net income of $287.4 million (excluding special items), compared to $262.6 million in 2010, up nearly 10 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct072011

Muslim Workers Suspended Over Prayer Breaks

PRNewsFoto/The Hertz Corporation(SEATTLE) -- Muslim shuttle bus drivers at Seattle-Tacoma airport in Washington have been suspended by their employer, Hertz, for not clocking out when taking prayer breaks throughout their shifts.

Thirty-four drivers have been suspended since last Friday, when managers stood outside the Muslim prayer room and warned entering workers that they would be suspended if they didn't clock out before praying, according to a spokesman from the Teamsters union Local 117, which represents the workers. The union alleges that Hertz singled out the employees based on religion -- a charge that Hertz vehemently denies.

"It is common practice that if you're taking mini-breaks, if you have a lull in your work and go get a cup of tea or smoke a cigarette, two or three minute breaks throughout the day, you don't have to clock out," said Tracey Thompson, secretary and treasurer of the union. "Individuals take breaks, go across the street to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee during intermittent breaks, and this wasn't focused on anybody doing anything else but praying. They made it about prayer."

Rich Broome, a senior vice president at Hertz, said that the issue is not at all about religion, but about employees abusing the prayer breaks well beyond the agreed-upon four- or five-minute breaks.

"The breaks were being used for prayers but typically extended past the time necessary to complete prayer obligations," Broome said. "To be fair to all the employees that work there, we implemented this clock-in, clock-out rule to ensure that the employees were able to pray and ensure that they return to work in timely fashion."

Broome said the decision to implement the policy was a joint one between local managers and the corporate office. He noted that Hertz employs Muslim workers all over the world and allows for prayers every day.

"This idea that people were laid off for praying is not true," Broome said. "We have a lot of employees in Seattle and around the world that are Muslim who pray every day and who have not been suspended. This is a matter about following simple workplace rules and complying with those rules."

The union and Hertz met just a year ago to hammer out contract negotiations for the shuttle drivers, in which both parties agreed that two- to three-minute "mini breaks" would not require clocking in and clocking out. Now, the union alleges that Hertz has broken that agreement by suspending the employees, while Hertz claims that the offenders were taking breaks "orders of magnitude longer than mini-breaks."

The workers, who make less than $10 an hour without benefits or vacation pay, were suspended without pay beginning Sept. 30, and have not yet received notice of when they will go back to work, whether they are terminated or what disciplinary actions they might face, the union said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Jun212011

Mormon NYC Ad Campaign 'Very Savvy Branding'

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign that hit New York City by surprise last week is "very savvy branding" that's an unusual take on an old advertising strategy, a public relations expert said.

"As a religion, branding a religion, I can't recall [another one] off hand," said Rosanna Fisk, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America in New York.  "What I see in this, however, has similarities of other kinds.  It's quite a testimonial.  [The campaign] shows how different people come from different backgrounds and are all joined by the same, common belief."

Now splashed across an electronic billboard in the middle of Times Square, the ad includes photographs of individuals from different walks of life, all under a headline that reads "I'm a Mormon."

The campaign, which has also rolled out taxi toppers and subway advertisements, inserted the billboard blocks from the theater showing the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon, which takes a satirical look at two Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries as they travel through Uganda.

Although the Times Square ads come at a time when the Mormon religion is in the news, the campaign itself began in 2010, testing television ads in nine markets: Rochester, New York, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Tucson, Arizona, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jacksonville, Florida, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The church said it hopes to expand into 10 to 20 markets across the country throughout the coming year.

"We've added New York to the cities we're going into this year because of the conversations that are happening here," said Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  "There's undoubtedly a national conversation going on currently about the church and its members, and we want to be part of that conversation.  New York City is perhaps a center of much of that conversation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio