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Attorney: Fired Allstate Employee's Trial Carries Implications for Religious Freedom
Agape Press ^ | July 19, 2005 | Jim Brown

Posted on 07/20/2005 7:57:26 AM PDT by Woodland

Attorney: Fired Allstate Employee's Trial Carries Implications for Religious Freedom

By Jim Brown July 19, 2005

(AgapePress) - There's a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday (July 20) in the case of a former Allstate employee who claims the insurance company fired him for writing an article against homosexual "marriage." The outcome of the case will likely determine whether a Christian employee can be fired for expressing his religious beliefs while off the job.

Former Allstate security manager Matt Barber recently filed a federal lawsuit against the company, alleging viewpoint discrimination. An investigation by the state of Illinois concluded that Barber was terminated because an "outside organization" complained about an article he wrote on his own time. The article defending traditional marriage appeared on several conservative Internet sites. (See earlier article)

Barber's attorney, Matt Davis, says there is a great deal riding on the outcome of the case.

"As we get more and more politically correct in our society, [large] employers like Allstate [that employ] literally hundreds of thousands ...are beginning to try to 'mellow out' the message that not only they make as a corporation, but then also then what is reflected amongst their employees," the attorney says, adding that he sees irony in the situation. "Here you have a company, in the name of tolerance, exercising an extreme degree of intolerance."

Since the state investigation, Allstate has backed off its original claim and is arguing Barber was not fired because of his conservative views. Davis says the Fortune 100 company is backpedaling.

"It would be one thing if you had a manager disseminating this kind of information to his employees and misusing the company systems or somehow on company time espousing views that they don't agree with. That would be one thing," he says. "But here we're talking about a guy from his home computer who takes a position from the Bible that he believes, and the company reaching into his living room and saying, 'We don't agree with that -- you're outta here.'"

Allstate has been a strong supporter of same-sex marriage by giving thousands of dollars in donations to homosexual activist groups. According to the American Family Association, Allstate gave $10,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a homosexual organization which promotes homosexual marriage; $5,000 to the Indiana University office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services; and $15,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles. AFA says Allstate also supports homosexual websites with advertising dollars.

In addition, the insurance company was listed by Diversity Inc. recently in its "Top 10 Companies for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees." Joining Allstate on that list were such household names as Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Company, Citigroup, Pepsico, Merck and Company, and the Coca-Cola Company.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: allstate; homosexual; homosexualagenda
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1 posted on 07/20/2005 7:57:27 AM PDT by Woodland
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To: Woodland

Employers should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all.

But, no. Property rights have gone the way of the dinosaurs.


2 posted on 07/20/2005 8:00:31 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
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To: Woodland

The PC Nazis are at it again. What about that First amendment the libs are so fond of spouting about? Does it only apply to them?


3 posted on 07/20/2005 8:01:49 AM PDT by Barb4Bush
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To: Woodland

"Here you have a company, in the name of tolerance, exercising an extreme degree of intolerance."

Typical Liberal Newspeak. Taking away freedoms in the name of freedom. Never Allstate for anything.

Blessings, Bobo


4 posted on 07/20/2005 8:04:57 AM PDT by bobo1
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To: newgeezer

"Employers should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all."

Can an employer fire someone for the reason that they will not have a sexual fling with the boss? How about someone who is Chinese, and the new boss hates Chinese? What if an employee will not come to your house and clean out your gutters? You DID say any reason?


5 posted on 07/20/2005 8:07:11 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: newgeezer
For what the employee does on the job, perhaps. But not for what the employee does from his personal home computer while at home during his free time.

Are you ready for your employer to fire you because he/she doesn't like what you watch on TV at home in the evening? I know it sounds far-fetched, but that's where big brother and extreme PC are headed.

6 posted on 07/20/2005 8:10:20 AM PDT by Prov3456
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To: Woodland

If the employee wrote something that draws attention to the company in anyway, they have the right to fire him. Also, if the company has a pre-stated policy regarding writing/publishing, or even moonlighting policies, then they may have fired the employee justly. However, if the employee writes an article and therein he is unidentifiable as a company employee, then the company should leave him alone.


7 posted on 07/20/2005 8:11:17 AM PDT by citizenK (petit tyranny is still tyranny)
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To: newgeezer
Employers should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all.

Ahem, I don' think so! If I'm sitting in a bar ON MY OWN TIME and my boss does not drink you're saying that gives him the right to fire me? I DON'T THINK SO.

8 posted on 07/20/2005 8:13:48 AM PDT by rockabyebaby (What do you like best about your life?)
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To: rockabyebaby
Ahem, I don' think so! If I'm sitting in a bar ON MY OWN TIME and my boss does not drink you're saying that gives him the right to fire me? I DON'T THINK SO.

It's not your job. It belongs to your boss. He can fill that job with anyone he damn well pleases. It's his money to spend. If he doesn't like the way you [fill in the blank], he can kick you off of his property and bring in someone more to his liking.

9 posted on 07/20/2005 8:20:49 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer

You have not answered my questions?


10 posted on 07/20/2005 8:23:00 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rockabyebaby
I believe it depends if the state is "Employment at Will". If so, an employer has very broad rights to fire an employee. This has been chipped away by EEOC and other groups over the last few decades.
11 posted on 07/20/2005 8:24:23 AM PDT by Mulch (tm)
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To: newgeezer

Allstate is pro-homosexual and anti-Christian.

http://afa.net/allstate05.asp

The firing of Mr. Barber is in keeping with Allstate's promotion of the homosexual agenda including homosexual marriage. A few examples:

· Gave $10,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a homosexual organization which promotes homosexual marriage.

· Supports homosexual websites with advertising dollars.

· Gave $5,000 to the Indiana University office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services.

· Gave $15,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles.-


12 posted on 07/20/2005 8:28:52 AM PDT by stinkerpot65
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To: rawhide; Prov3456
You DID say any reason?

Yes, I did.

It's not your job. Surely there are other and better ways of dealing with unreasonable employers. Government's legislating and regulating how and when and on whom a capitalist can spend his capital cannot possibly be the best answer.

13 posted on 07/20/2005 8:29:10 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer
I agree. Employers should be able to fire any employee for any reason - or none at all.

OTOH, since this is not the case here anymore in the U.S. of A., turnabout is fair play.
14 posted on 07/20/2005 8:37:35 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: newgeezer

"Government's legislating and regulating how and when and on whom a capitalist can spend his capital cannot possibly be the best answer."

The reason why the government has done just this is because employers have in the past, fired people for the reasons I wrote about earlier. The government has had to step in and protect the worker because the employer had the power, money, and resources; and the employee had none of these. And sadly it is still going on even today, as we see in the posted article above.


15 posted on 07/20/2005 8:39:37 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; I_Love_My_Husband; ...

Homosexual Agenda Ping.

More on the story about Matt Barber, the former Allstate employee who was fired for writing an article supporting marriage (aka as "anti gay marriage") not during work time, nor as a representative of his company.

Implications abound.

Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.

Note: In our brave new world, "tolerance" means "intolerance" of conservative, moral, or religious values. "Inclusion" means immorality must be shoved down everyone's throat regardless of religious affiliation.


16 posted on 07/20/2005 8:42:48 AM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: rawhide
The government has had to step in and protect the worker because...

... because politicians are all too happy to step in and fix whatever ails the voters, rather than acknowledge the fact that it's not the government's role.

Rather than turning to Uncle Sam for help, workers could, for instance, pool their measly resources to form a coalition and expose and put pressure on a-hole employers such as those you mentioned.

But, that would require some real effort, and politicians are all too happy to do whatever it takes to make the people like them. After all, we elected them to help us.

17 posted on 07/20/2005 8:46:55 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: stinkerpot65

Allstate's new slogan, "Allstate has its good hands in you."


18 posted on 07/20/2005 8:47:56 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: newgeezer

Fine. If you see yourself as your employer's property.


19 posted on 07/20/2005 8:50:20 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: newgeezer
Employers should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all.

Really? You want to live in a Country where your boss can fire you because you won't go on a date with him? Or your anti-semetic Supervisor axes you for wearing a Star of David around your neck. Or your gay boss fires you for having a Jesus fish on your car? How about the guy in the cubicle next to you just doesn't like the way you laugh. Don't you want to retract that ridiculous statement?

20 posted on 07/20/2005 8:51:59 AM PDT by Hildy ("You miss 100% of the shots you never take." - Wayne Gretzky)
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To: Sam the Sham
Fine. If you see yourself as your employer's property.

No, but my employer's capital and his real estate are his property.

Government is telling him how he can spend his money and who he has to welcome onto his property. That's simply not right.

21 posted on 07/20/2005 8:53:40 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: Hildy

Perhaps you would like to use the View Replies to catch up on the conversation which has already transpired.


22 posted on 07/20/2005 8:54:41 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer

How sad you must be that the good old days of sweatshops, company towns, company stores, company police, workers paid in company scrip, secretaries sleeping with the boss are over.

The job may be the employer's property. But I am not.


23 posted on 07/20/2005 8:58:25 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: Woodland

One way to combat sodomite-friendly companies like Allstate is to buy just one share of stock and then to file a shareholder's resolution, which must appear on the ballot at the next shareholder's meeting. The ballot question would be a resolution on a question along the following line:

Be it resolved that since it is not in the Company's interest to alienate any particular market segment and in particular the segment composed of traditional families, the shareholders direct the Board to forbid any direct or indirect support of organizations or groups advocating alternative lifesyles (such as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered) or any corporate image or product marketing tailored specifically to appeal to that market segment.

This brings this issue to all the shareholders when the notice of the shareholder's meeting is sent out. At that time, the Board may include its a statement of which way it recommends shareholders vote on each resolution. This forces the Board to defend the company's marketing practices.

Of course, the Board will probably state it thinks the GLBT market is an important one. I would respond that the Company cannot but help alienate the traditional value market as it overtly markets to the GLBT market and this alienation is totally unnecessary.

(Of course, had Allstate been around in 1850, they could have said that the slaveowner's market was a important one. Just because a market is important doesn't necessitate tailoring an ad campaign to it.)

If anyone can propose a better way of putting this, please post it!


24 posted on 07/20/2005 8:58:33 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
I agree. Employers should be able to fire any employee for any reason - or none at all.

I know of a company that's been known to fire commission sales people after they made a huge sale, but before the client paid, in order to not pay the commission to the (former) sales rep...

Is that a good reason?

Mark

25 posted on 07/20/2005 9:05:31 AM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: Sam the Sham
How sad you must be that the good old days of sweatshops, company towns, company stores, company police, workers paid in company scrip, secretaries sleeping with the boss are over.

How very disingenuous of you.

Did you even read the post of mine to which you replied? Are you really so incapable of solving any such problems without turning to your nanny state government?

Next, I suppose you're going to tell me you're a die-hard conservative who loves the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, too.

26 posted on 07/20/2005 9:08:10 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: Sam the Sham
The job may be the employer's property. But I am not.

Quite true. You can leave anytime.

27 posted on 07/20/2005 9:10:22 AM PDT by ThinkDifferent (These pretzels are making me thirsty)
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To: MarkL
Hey, I didn't say that the reason had to be good, or moral or ethical. I didn't say that there even had to be reason.

If a company wants to do stupid things like fire employees for unethical reasons, so be it. Of course, stupid is as stupid does. The chickens will come home to roost.
28 posted on 07/20/2005 9:19:19 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: newgeezer

Better the rule of law than the whim of arbitrary tyranny. Better laws that protect my rights (and without laws to protect them rights are just words) than your kind of serfdom.

You babbled earlier about workers banding together. Yes they did. They were called labor unions to protect themselves from arbitrary tyranny over their personal lives.

Your ridiculous kind of society is one in which for most people freedom would just be an empty word.


29 posted on 07/20/2005 9:21:58 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: Woodland

Get this. As a California business owner, I have to allow a male employee who wants to wear a dress to work the opportunity to do so. Thanks Gray Davis.

The CA Supreme Court just ruled that if I allow ANY romantic relationships between ANY employees, I can be sued for sexual harassment because I allowed the creation of a "hostile work environment".

But if Allstate can legally get away with firing a pro-marriage guy for his writings off work hours, what's to stop me from firing the transvestite? I actually think that this may be a GOOD THING for pro-business conservatives.

The government interference into the workplace is out of control. I no longer have the ability to make personal, "gut-feel" hiring and firing decisions for my own business, even in "at-will" California, without being subject to any number of lawsuits. I'm not a government agency or a government contractor or a public company, but a private business.

Our pathetically litigious society is one where people feel like you owe them a job. I built my company, and I should be able to hire and fire whomever I please, based of course on behavior alone (not on skin color or other immutable factors).

This means that if I have an employee who's religious behavior is a detriment to the perception of my company, I should have the ability to fire that employee for their behavior, as it affects either their performance, or the perception of my company, as embodied by my employees.

So if Allstate wants to be a company that actively promotes a homosexually charged culture, should they be able to fire hetero employees who do not agree with them?

If so, then it should be the prerogative of every company that wishes to protect its hetero-normative values, to terminate GLBT employees who cannot keep their behavior out of the workplace, or where their identity is inextricably tied to their employment (i.e. a VP, a marketing or sales person, a customer service representative or agent).

Thoughts?


30 posted on 07/20/2005 9:25:00 AM PDT by Nice50BMG (3 books to read this year: The Bible (God), Bringing Up Boys (Dobson), Winning the Future (Newt))
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To: Sam the Sham
At least you're right about the labor unions' role. Apparently, if we had it to do all over again, you'd prefer the government would take over, rather than the workers doing it for themselves.

Suit yourself. My "ridiculous kind of society" was set up by the founding fathers. You will someday have the all-powerful nanny state you desire, and all your problems will be solved for you.

31 posted on 07/20/2005 9:35:15 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: Sam the Sham
How sad you must be that the good old days of sweatshops, company towns, company stores, company police, workers paid in company scrip, secretaries sleeping with the boss are over.

By the way, is it always your intent to play the asshole when engaging in a discussion of property rights and such or, just today?

32 posted on 07/20/2005 9:45:32 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer

Workers doing it for themselves ? You babbled earlier about "calling attention" to the situation. To what end ? To whine for sympathy ? Better to have laws that will give them the weapons to fight back and win.

Your babble about the Founding Fathers is ridiculous. One of the oldest principles of English law is a man's home is his castle. If the authority of the boss encompasses the employee's entire life then that cannot be true. Without the protection of the law privacy can always be trampled on by those with power.

I suppose you pine for the good old days when secretaries, mill girls, and servant girls had to sleep with the boss or hit the road. The purpose of law is not to enshrine the sacredness of capital. It is to protect the weak against the bullying of the strong. It is to put the dignity of human beings ahead of arbitrary power.

Better government than corporate power. I can vote in or out politicians. I can't vote in or out corporate culture.


33 posted on 07/20/2005 9:51:18 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: rawhide

Thanks for saying that Rawhide. Ohio is an "at will" state for firing and I understand a company wanting this right but if you take it to its extreme conclusion, you come up with what you had. I was thinking they could fire you for going out and eating chinese food because they HATE it or something equally as ludicrous as your examples!


34 posted on 07/20/2005 9:55:45 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: Sam the Sham
If the authority of the boss encompasses the employee's entire life then that cannot be true.

The boss has no "authority" over what the worker does in his home. The worker is free to do whatever he wants in his own castle. Likewise, the employer is free to invite (or not) anyone to work in his castle. The worker is free to find suitable employment where he is welcomed. It's an arm's length transaction. If either party doesn't like what he gets, he's free to transact with someone else. No one is putting any undue restrictions on anyone.

35 posted on 07/20/2005 9:58:42 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer
Employers should be able to hire and fire anyone for any reason or no reason at all.

Absolutely true. However, I doubt Allstate supports that or any other libertarian principle, so screw 'em.

36 posted on 07/20/2005 10:01:34 AM PDT by Sloth (History's greatest monsters: Hitler, Stalin, Mao & Durbin)
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To: Woodland
I informed my Allstate Insurance agent that I did not appreciate Allstate using my premiums to promote the Pro-Homosexual agenda and that I would take my business elsewhere.
His reply was, "You're not the first one to tell me this and I'm quite sure, you won't be the last." I think he wishes he were an agent for someone other than Allstate.
37 posted on 07/20/2005 10:05:01 AM PDT by cuz_it_aint_their_money (No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity. - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Sloth; Frumious Bandersnatch

It seems we're in the minority.

Oh, well, I guess we shouldn't be surprised.


38 posted on 07/20/2005 10:14:10 AM PDT by newgeezer (Admit it. Amendment XIX is very much to blame.)
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To: Woodland

Allstate's rather vocal stance on homosexuality is one reason I won't do business with them.


39 posted on 07/20/2005 10:18:52 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: newgeezer

Control over the livelihood of another IS restriction. It is a tremendous amount of arbitrary power. Society demands that this arbitrary power be exercised only within carefully circumscribed limits because it is the function and purpose of the law to protect the weak against the bullying of arbitrary power.

You babble about the Founding Fathers. Well, they lived in an age when physical violence was part of every authority relationship. Parents beat their children. Husbands beat their wives. Teachers whipped their pupils. Ships captains flogged their sailors. Masters beat their slaves. Conscripts ran the gauntlet. Master craftsmen beat their apprentices. I suppose that is what you would like to go back to in the name of private property rights. Well, we've moved beyond that. We have as a society and a culture rejected arbitrary authority in practically every sphere of life. And we are better off for it.

Does this mean government setting limits on private property rights ? Yes in every case.

Good.


40 posted on 07/20/2005 10:20:16 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: Sam the Sham

You sure seem angry about something. Maybe you need a break.


41 posted on 07/20/2005 10:24:51 AM PDT by newgeezer (Admit it. Amendment XIX is very much to blame.)
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To: newgeezer
It's not your job. Surely there are other and better ways of dealing with unreasonable employers. Government's legislating and regulating how and when and on whom a capitalist can spend his capital cannot possibly be the best answer.

So employers should simply fire someone the day before they're scheduled to retire - no paying retirement benefits then

42 posted on 07/20/2005 10:25:06 AM PDT by Terabitten (Illegal immigration causes Representation without Taxation.)
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To: newgeezer
Rather than turning to Uncle Sam for help, workers could, for instance, pool their measly resources to form a coalition and expose and put pressure on a-hole employers such as those you mentioned.

This is called a labor union.

43 posted on 07/20/2005 10:25:15 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: MEGoody
This is called a labor union.

Yes, that's one such manifestation of the idea.

44 posted on 07/20/2005 10:26:33 AM PDT by newgeezer (Admit it. Amendment XIX is very much to blame.)
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To: Nice50BMG
But if Allstate can legally get away with firing a pro-marriage guy for his writings off work hours, what's to stop me from firing the transvestite? I actually think that this may be a GOOD THING for pro-business conservatives.

You won't be able to, though, and we all know it.

45 posted on 07/20/2005 10:28:11 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: newgeezer

The folly of libertarianism never ceases to amaze me.


46 posted on 07/20/2005 10:29:34 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
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To: newgeezer
Yes, that's one such manifestation of the idea.

Given the choice, I'll take a few governmet restrictions on employers which protects the employees' constitutional rights rather than have more labor unions. You might disagree, and that's fine. But unions. . .they served their purpose, then stuck around to bring us people like Kennedy. No thanks.

47 posted on 07/20/2005 10:30:45 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Terabitten
So employers should simply fire someone the day before they're scheduled to retire - no paying retirement benefits then

Oh, sure. That'll go over real well with current and future employees and customers alike.

Besides, one obvious way to mitigate the risk would be to take responsibility for one's own retirement benefits, rather than putting oneself at the mercy of one's employer.

48 posted on 07/20/2005 10:31:05 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: MEGoody

One bad manifestation doesn't have to mean the idea is entirely without any merit.


49 posted on 07/20/2005 10:33:15 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: newgeezer

Governments are formed by men. Rights and responsibilities are delineated with agreements among the people. Most if not all of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is a limitation of federal government power. State governments are given leeway within that context.

There is an argument that can be made that fair treatment of employees is required of an employer. There is a real and implied contract between a employer and employee. Barring an employers "needs" you have a job,if you fulfill the requirements of the job. There are many needs of an employer. Manpower, decorum, ability etc, can all be a basis for discontinuing employment. An employee may also have a need to leave his employer.

When an employer contracts with an employee there is an obligation by both to completely and fairly fulfill that contract.


50 posted on 07/20/2005 10:35:37 AM PDT by steelie (Still Right Thinking)
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