Fired for "One Nation Under God" button

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fired for "One Nation Under God" button
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 12:27pm

Do you think that Home Depot had the right to dismiss him over his button?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2006
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 12:41pm

This might be a fine line, but I'm not so sure this was warranted....

While I am *personally* of the opinion that "under God" should be taken back out of the pledge, it's in there, and it covers pretty much every monotheistic religion...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 2:09pm

Quandary here. <:/ If NO unapproved buttons were allowed, and all writing up and warning procedures that may be part of the company's personnel policies, were observed, then yeah, fire his butt. The company has a right to stipulate a dress code. So, justified for insubordination and refusing to comply with the dress code, required of all employees. *However,* if they allowed it for what, a year? That's tantamount to the company/supervisor giving permission to the employee to actually wear the button, IMO. So, that puts it in a gray zone... Not in any way, though, is this about "religious freedom." That's just a red herring and used as a knee jerk defense that's demeaning to the actual freedom, and to everyone's "freedom." IMO.

Because there *IS* controversy about the "under God" part in the pledge because it was added in the McCarthy era during prosecution of a lot of actually loyal U.S. citizens, during the epidemic of hating Communism blood-letting of that period, maybe that's the objection? In any case, IMO, a company has the right to stipulate dress code, and in this case, buttons worn. If the employees are educated as to policy of only wearing buttons provided by the employer, than this employee hasn't a leg to stand on, IMO, provided all disciplinary warning policy was adhered to before the firing. Besides the fact, as Snow said, those words are not in the original pledge, which I actually learned and recited as a school child in the 50s. HA! :P And I STILL say it without those words, or I substitute "Goddess and God" instead, if I'm feeling uppity. ;))





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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 10:33pm

I think that if they have a uniform and rules about what can be worn on it, and if he clearly violated it,the Home Depot has a case. And that what is sounds like, EXCEPT, that they allowed him (according to this article) to wear it for a year. Then (according to this article) he started bringing his bible to work, and then his pin suddenly became a problem.

Personally, I would hate to work somewhere, that had such a stuffy dress code, but if I ever accepted a job where I had to wear a uniform, then I would follow the rules or get another job.

I think the problem here may be with selective enforcement. Really, why did they wait a year to say anything ?

Most uniformed jobs do have a lot of stuffy rules, (I know, my hubby has to wear a uniform).

Bottom line, Home Depot has a right to their dress code, but they should enforce it consistently. Sounds like they dropped the ball on this one, by letting it slide for a year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2000
Sat, 10-31-2009 - 8:41am

My husband works in a similar business and they

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Sat, 10-31-2009 - 12:35pm

Well, the problem my husband had at his work is the rules were vague and selectively enforced. The people calling him on the "violations" were in gross violations of the rules themselves, plus they made up new rules as they went along.

They even had a mediation about it, and they ruled that my hubby was NOT in violation of the uniform code (he wasn't) but then the person who made the ruling, kow towed to higher ups and "reversed" his ruling. And went along with someone's new rule that they just made up in their own head.

In the case of Home Depot, it sounds like they were lax in enforcing real rules that were on the book, and this guy had a hissy fit, when he finally had to start following the rules. And he wants to cry "persecution". I can tell you this much, this organization that is defending him, would be defending Home Depot, if they enforced this rule on someone who was wearing a ying-yang pin, a pentagram, or political button supporting democrats.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Sat, 10-31-2009 - 3:34pm

I found an interesting additional piece of info in the above video.

According to this FOX news interview, his supervisor like the pin so much she wanted to borrow it. That COULD explain why it wasn't an issue for over a year, and then suddenly became an issue. Maybe nobody noticed it for the first year, but when his supervisor started sporting a new pin on her apron, someone said, something along the lines of "Hey, as a supervisor, you should know that only company issued buttons are allowed on your apron".

When she replied that she had been letting her subordinate wear it for the past year, and is now borrowing it, her higher ups, might have said, something along the lines of "Well your first mistake was allowing him to be in violation of the dress code, and your second mistake is now YOU are violating the dress code". So she really called attention to his year long breaking of the dress code.

I don't have much sympathy for this guy. He's is crying "persecution" but neither he nor the law firm defending him would peep a word if a non-Christian pin got someone fired. In fact, they would be defending HD and their right to run their business as they see fit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Tue, 11-03-2009 - 8:49am

Of course Home Depot had the right to dismiss him. Any time you are asked to comply with company policy and refuse, the company has the right to dismiss you.

I worked for Home Depot, once upon a time. The rules about what you were allowed to have on that lovely orange apron were made very clear during training, whether your supervisor enforced them or not.

Religious discrimination, my @ss.