Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Will someone please explain to me the hubbub over this?
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Central Florida woman was fired from her job after eating "unclean" meat and violating a reported company policy that pork and pork products are not permissible on company premises, according to Local 6 News.

Lina Morales was hired as an administrative assistant at Rising Star -- a Central Florida telecommunications company with strong Muslim ties, Local 6 News reported.

However, 10 months after being hired by Rising Star, religious differences led to her termination.

"Religious differences," my foot. She worked at a company run by Muslims, and she knew (because she had been warned) that they found her pork-eating offensive.

What I don't get is the outrage over this at Allah's place and LGF. Ms. Morales' employers are Muslim as are most of their employees. Over and above this, the company and the building it's housed in is their property, and they get to set the rules. Ms. Morales was made aware of those rules, which are not unfair, nor do they cause her an undue hardship. Her religion does not require her to eat pork products, and if she really wanted pork, she could simply eat it elsewhere. She was obviously not fired for being Catholic (something her employers knew when they hired her) -- she was fired for being disrespectful to the beliefs of her employer and violating the rules of her employment. And all because she wouldn't make a trivial modification to her lunch menu.

The rules she was subjected to were easy to follow, and not unreasonable. If pork was consumed in the company cafeteria, the company's Muslim employees -- including its owners -- could not be sure that the surfaces, utensils, etc. they were using are clean. Ms. Morales's lack of consideration would deny them the use of their own cafeteria.

I honestly want to know: am I missing something? It sure doesn't sound like Ms. Morales's rights were violated. Instead, it sounds like she tried to violate the rights of her bosses at Rising Star, and they didn't stand for it.

Update: Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, commented on the discrimination angle last night -- I wish I had checked his site more carefully. In a nutshell, he says that there is no discrimination. The equally qualified Jonathan Rowe says the same thing.

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