EEOC just explained to the Dep’t. of Veteran Affairs how quoting the bible at the workplace can violate an employee’s civil rights. It wrote, “the use of a Bible verse, alone, in the context of condemnation of sexual identity is sufficient to rise to the level of harassment.” In other words, if one or more co-workers are taunting an employee about their sexual orientation and among the taunts is a posted or orally repeated bible quote, then someone likely is about to be disciplined while the agency islikely to be writing the employee a check for the harm done.

In this case, the posted bible passage was accompanied by hanging condoms in the employee’s locker, distributing HIV pamphlets at his worksite, defacing a picture of employee with his grandson, telling the employee that his partner’s father was “not his father-in-law,” and declaring that his marriage was not valid. Obviously one or more followers of the bible had decided it had vested them with the power to judge. This was not the first time EEOC warned about the improper use of the bible at the workplace.  See Thomasina B. v. Dep’t of Def., EEOC Appeal No. 0120141298 (Feb. 9, 2021) (affirming that Complainant suffered harassment when she was told by coworkers she was going to Hell and that homosexuality was an abomination in the eyes of God). Aside from awarding the employee bundles of cash EEOC ordered that within sixty (60) days from the date of its the decision, the Agency shall consider disciplining the OR Nurse Manager, Chief Nurse, Associate Director, RN Manager, and Supervisor. Check out Thad P., Complainant, v. Denis R. McDonough, Sec’y, Dep’t. of Veterans Affairs, EEOC No. 2021002513 (2023)

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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