Wednesday, December 29, 2004
The All Times Union reports on an interesting case involving religious discrimnation out of Albany, N.Y. Here is the beginning of the article:
"To some people, Patricia Freund's job might sound perfect. But she doesn't think so.
Monday through Friday, she arrives at her spartan office at the State Liquor Authority at 8 a.m., and, for her entire 7-hour shift, does no work.
She spends the morning reading one of the novels she brings from her Argyle home -- until lunch-time, when she steps from the back office she shares with no one and that her boss never visits.
After the break, she returns to her desk and opens "A Distant Mirror," about the calamitous 14th century, because she has just finished "Bury Me Standing," a story about the journey of gypsies. Besides an occasional daydream, the novels help her pass the hours until quitting time at 4 p.m. Then she quietly slips out the back door, having done nothing productive for the $82,789 she is paid annually. With benefits, her job costs taxpayers more than $100,000 a year.
In a normal week, she speaks to no one, except maybe a janitor, and receives no assignments from her boss, Edward F. Kelly, chairman of the liquor authority, she says."
The employee involved argues that the reason for the treatmet she is receiving is that,
she has been outspoken about beliefs that public employees should keep their religious lives separate from their work lives. Her downfall, she says, came after she questioned why co-workers, particularly supervisors, attend the governor's annual prayer breakfast, an event she went to in 2000 and found offensive.
A couple of months ago, The New York Times Magazine featured an article (Faith At Work, by Rusell Shorto) which notes that religion could become the next big workplace issue.