Skip to comments.Christian stripped of workplace signs
Posted on 08/24/2004 9:10:45 AM PDT by missyme
An employee of the California Department of Social Services filed suit yesterday after state officials removed items from his cubicle they consider "political, religious or social" in nature.
Enoch Lawrence sued when his employer, the Roseville branch of the California Department of Social Services, took down from the walls of his cubicle a bumper sticker that reads "Marriage: One Man One Woman," a small sign that says "Jesus Spoken Here," various Bible verses and two published articles on current political issues.
"Nothing in this employee's workspace warrants this action," said Joshua Carden, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is assisting Lawrence with the suit. "The Constitution does not allow the department to silence his free expression rights just because they don't like the viewpoint he is expressing."
The federal civil-rights lawsuit contends the state agency unjustifiably restricted Lawrence's free speech and expression rights.
Lawrence, a disability evaluation analyst who is also a 21-year military veteran, says other employees were allowed to post personal material but he alone was targeted by government officials. He says a supervisor told him if he didn't allow the items to be removed, it would be considered insubordination.
According to a statement from Alliance Defense Fund, the department's policy states in part, "Each employee must exercise his or her own good judgement [sic] to avoid engaging in conduct that may be perceived by others as harassment and/or unprofessional, inappropriate behavior."
Said Carden: "The policy is unconstitutional. The department cannot censor Mr. Lawrence's speech because someone might 'perceive' it to be harassment. Furthermore, the policy provides virtually no guidelines for its enforcement. Officials have singled Mr. Lawrence out for discriminatory treatment by removing items from his cubicle that are clearly not disrupting the workplace.
"Mr. Lawrence's religious and politically conservative viewpoint does not make him a second-class member of the department. We intend to make sure that his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights are protected."
Yeah, cant have someone of faith working for the government, it might cause the government to have a guilty conscience.
You know the ACLU will stay far away from this one. Hopefully the Thomas More Center will be able to assist Mr. Lawrence.
The states out on a limb here.
At best the could try to claim that the One Man One Woman sticker was creating a hostile environment for gays, but with California law, I don't see how they could even make that argument.
Will they also remove witty posters exalting women and making fun of men? Those push the feminist agenda.
Will they also remove rainbow decals? Those push the homosexual agenda.
Will they also remove any newspaper cartoons that make fun of President Bush? Or which discuss the war in Iraq? Those are political.
How thorough will the housecleaning be? Or is the task complete, now that the Christian was silenced?
Not really: any employer has the right to stop an employee from misrepresenting his/her policy. A smart private business owner would do the same: a customer coming to deal with disability should not be put in a position of dealing with religion, politics, etc.
Don't they realize that they have human beings working for them? How in the world could people work together if things that are considered "social" to be banned. It's silly enoough to ban religious or political, but to attempt to remove the social aspects of humanity is plain stupid. Perhaps they should just get some robots to work for them. They should watch Charles Chaplin's Modern Times. LOL.
Unless that person of faith is a muslim. Then they will be issues a prayer rug and a spot 5 times a day to pray in. Oh, also everyone else will be prohibited from eating BLT sandwiches in the lunch room.
I'm sure his employer's goons didn't touch any gay/feminist/communist propaganda that was in other offices. For some reason, only Christians and Christianity can be assailed with impunity these days.
And I fear for the future of this nation because of it.
"And I fear for the future of this nation because of it."
Me too! and it looks like that is where we are headed!
And just how long have you lived in this country?
Ever heard of the NYT? Boston Globe?
Ever heard of Ben and Jerry's?
I am a business owner. I am an employer. If you haven't figured out that secular utopian dreams result in mass executions, economic failure and relatively quick collapse, you need to bone up on the history of the 20th century.
This has already been thru the Supreme Court via the American Center for Law and Justice. You can not stop freedom of expression or prohit ones belief in the workplace or school if similar secular bumper stickers or messages are posted on other similar cubicals. This Christian should win this law suit.
Either you clean out ALL material of a personal, social, religious or political nature, or you clean out none of it. In every workplace, there is some of this stuff in almost every cubicle or office. But this guy was singled out, which is wrong.
I don't have a problem either way-- clean it all out, or leave it all alone. But, I suspect that the de-personalization involved in cleaning it all out, not to mention the kind of managerial attitude that would demonstrate, would make that a place where no one wanted to work, and no one worked very well. They know that, which is why they didn't choose that course.
I want somebody's head on this one!
Ever heard of the NYT? Boston Globe?
Apparently, you have not been an American long. Otherwise you'd know that newspapers have no obligation to be apolitical. They even have editorials that state their political views.
Ever heard of Ben and Jerry's?
Yes. But I have not walked through the cubicals of their corporate offices. Have you?
I am a business owner. I am an employer. Good for you. Hope you are doing well.
If you haven't figured out that secular utopian dreams result in mass executions,
Sorry, but this is insulting and a blunder on your part: I never said that I am a secularist or against people expressing their religious views. I only said that workplace is not a proper place for the. Especially when it is a government and the customer has no other options where to satisfy his or her demand. you need to bone up on the history of the 20th century. Thank you, I am doing fine so far. Perhaps, you should brush up on logic while I am improving my knowledge ogf history?
But, I suspect
I suspect so too: all to often, Christians are singled out when it comes to enforcing that policy. But, to be fair, neither the article nor the lawsuit alleges that.
That is your right to be offended. It is also your duty to abide by the rule of the majority.
Although federal employees have much more dramatic "on the job" free speech rights than any other category of workers in the country, state employees are not far behind.
You cannot apply private sector standards to this situation.
If management wants to "protect" the delicate sensibilities of clients visiting the site, they can set up a public access workstation however they wish. On the other hand, if this is the employee's ONLY place of work, and it's management bringing clients (not "customers" PULEEEZE) around to the employee's desk, seems to me it's management doing the offending, if any, and not the poor guy who's just sitting there grinding away through the drudgework his bosses have improperly designed.
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