Chick-Fil-A's dark side: Alleged employment discrimination against non-churchgoers and sexual harassment
On August 28, 2012 At 12:05 am
Responses : 6 Comments
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has called for boycotts of Starbucks Coffee and General Mills because they support marriage equality, thinks that Chick-Fil-A deserves ongoing Christian patronage because its CEO Dan Cathy supports "biblical marriage." NOM has called for an ongoing "Chick-Fil-A Wednesday," writing after Mike Huckabee's successful "Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day" conducted August 1, that "… we're calling on all supporters of marriage, free speech and religious liberty to make every Wednesday a "Chick-fil-A Wednesday!"
NOM also urges Christians opposed to marriage equality to send a "thank you" letter to Cathy, which reads in part:
As one of the millions of Americans who firmly believe that marriage is uniquely the union of one man and one woman, I know how hard it can be, despite our majority, to announce this message in a culture increasingly hostile to traditional and especially Christian values. That is why I am writing to you today to honor and to thank you for the heroic example that you have set by your courageous witness – throughout your company history, but most of all in recent weeks.
Despite media spin and bullying of opportunistic politicians, you have continued bravely to stand firm by your Christian beliefs, and you deserve our thanks. The truth of the issue is clear enough: the opponents of marriage are no longer interested in clear-headed and reasonable debate, they simply want to silence anyone who dares disagree with their radical agenda. Thankfully, folks like you give the rest of us courage to continue to present the truth about marriage, knowing that God is on our side and that most Americans still acknowledge this foundational truth – that kids deserve both a mom and a dad.
Chick-Fil-A restaurants are franchise operations with strict rules and acceptance criteria. Cathy and his upper management are not individually responsible for the behavior and practices of individual franchise owners and their management teams; however, some of the alleged behavior taking place at some of the franchises do not seem to reflect "Christian values" that NOM applauds. There have been calls for the Chick-Fil-A upper management to address these practices.
Back in 1980 and when she was 16, Jean Sipes went down to the local Chick-fil-A in Tallahassee, Florida and filled out a job application. After submitting it, the manager came out to interview her. After reviewing the 'Activities/Hobbies' section of the application, the manager asked Jean whether she belonged to a local church.
Jean responded truthfully, telling him that she did not attend a church. The manager then asked if she belonged to any church-affiliated youth groups or organizations. Again, she told him that she did not. According to Jean, the manager replied, "You seem like a nice young lady and you have experience, but I can't hire you because you are not affiliated with a church or church organization."
To this day, Jean will not eat at Chick-Fil-A. "Now, all these years later I see that they are still discriminating against others based on their religious beliefs," Jean said. "It still angers me today and concerns me to see this happening to others."
A sexual harassment case is making its way through the California courts.
Fernando Tafoya is an attorney in San Diego who is representing six women who claim they were sexually harassed by a Chick-fil-A manager, and he says that the actions of the manager are inconsistent with the "pro family" image that Chick-Fil-A claims to have. The women range in age from 18-40 and represent different nationalities and ethnicities.
Tafoya says that the harassment was obscene. According to the attorney (see video embedded below), one woman was forcibly kissed by the manager; the manager put his hand down another woman's shirt and bra and laughed when she protested; the manager put his hand down the pants of other women.
The owner of the store was notified about the allegations, according to Tafoya, and brushed them off. When the plaintiffs continued to pursue their case, Tofoya claims the owner tried to have his clients deported, which would destroy their families.
Tafoya says he not only wants justice for his clients, but he wants Chick-fil-A to improve its sexual harassment policy. The message that Chick Fil-A puts out in its public relations messages is a false one, he claims.