Research shows that attempts to express religious beliefs in places of work are on the rise, as concerns Hobby Lobby and AutoZone. Hobby Lobby became the largest privately-owned U.S. firm dealing in arts and crafts in 2011. The founder and C.E.O, David Green, set loyalty to customers and employees together with a commitment to Christian principles as the bedrock of his company. Not only did Hobby Lobby profess Christianity, it actually practiced. For instance, since 1997, it ran full-page advertisements over Easter, costly as they are, with intentions of helping anyone that wanted to know more about Jesus (Huser). In addition, in the 1990s, it decided to close on Sundays despite making a projected $100 million in sales on this day.
In September 2012 when a new government policy required it to provide its employees with contraception coverage, Green opposed arguing that it contravened biblical principles on which his company was set. What followed was a court battle between the company and the state. The case of AutoZone is another example of faith versus work conflict. A fortune 500 distributors and retailer of mobile parts with more than 6500 employees, AutoZone employed Frank Mahoney Burroughs, a man who transformed to Sikh religion (Huser).
Mahoney faced negative reactions from the moment he announced his conversion to Sikh religion. For instance, the store manager asked if he had joined al-Qaeda, a clear expression of prejudice. Not to be outdone, store customers made terrorist jokes about him drawing comparisons of him with Bin Laden. The odds were clearly stacked against him (Huser). His attempt to seek support from their human resources department culminated in his dismissal for ‘job abandonment’. However, in 2010, Mahoney sought the help of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, filing a lawsuit against AutoZone. He emerged victorious earning $75,000 plus attorney’s fees as part of the settlement (Huser). In light of these two cases, it is evident that cases of attempts to integrate faith in places of work are existent, and on the rise. Given their sensitive nature, it is prudent to create sensitization through the nation to reduce instances of discrimination arising from the same.
Work CitedHuser, Kacee Garner and Holly. "FAITH AND WORK: HOBBY LOBBY AND AUTOZONE." Michigan state University Publishing 1.1 (2015): 1-23.
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