This is a topic that’s on the minds of a lot of employers because of the Dave Ramsey situation in Tennessee.
This is not the first time that Dave Ramsey has been one of my videos. If you’re interested, I did a video back in December about What to Do When a Role Model Errs.
I like Dave’s work. It’s helped me a lot. I also just have a couple of degrees of separation from him. I’m not here to judge him. That’s not my role. For those of you who don’t know, my role is to mediate, coach, and train. I am here to invite you to look at some of the considerations in situations like this.
Some of you might be questioning whether you have religious exceptions to certain things that you do in your business. That’s a hot topic for people these days. It’s in the Supreme Court a lot, and there are a few of you who want to take advantage of these exceptions. But you’re not really sure if you have them, so I’m going to give you a few things that you can work through.
If you’re if you’re going to claim a religious exception to the laws protecting employees from sex, pregnancy, and family status discrimination, the considerations are very similar to what I talk about in my other videos about managing LGBTQ workers and other workers.
Again, I’m not going to give you again legal advice, but these are the conversations you want to have before you sit down with your lawyer. You want to start looking into where you stand on these issues to make sure that, before you take a stand and go to court, that you’re really firm on what you believe.
First, you want to explore why this issue is important to you. Does your employee’s activity outside of work make you look bad? Does it make you look worse than putting a pregnant employee out of a job when she needs to now care for two people? This is a very personal decision that you might not want to make publicly.
Second, what does an employee’s premarital sex activity have to do with the essential functions of the job? For example, if the employee is counseling people not to have premarital sex, it could be relevant and worth fighting for, but again, this is a personal decision that you might not want to make publicly.
Third, is something that’s going to start coming up in more of these cases. If you’re claiming a religious exception, ask yourself, “Are all sins created equally?” Because I can tell you if I were the person litigating the case, I’m going to be looking at every single sin in the Bible and make sure you treat every single person in your employ the same when they sin, and you find out about it. You want to think about all of that, right? Because that’s how it’s probably going to play out in court.
Again, this is not legal advice. This is just some general information on what you need to consider. It’s fine to take a personal stand in your business for your core values but understand that is not without consequence. So, you want to be very sure you know what you value most.
If you’re still kind of unsure of what your values are in your business, I have a course online to help you. It’s a nice little $5.00 course that I put up last year during the pandemic and I’m continuing to donate half of the proceeds to the restaurant industry fundraiser. I’m also still doing my free 30-minute breakthrough calls, if you want to talk one-on-one.
In the meantime, keep listening with your third ear for those hurts you can heal.
Want to discover what you really value?
Nance L. Schick, Esq., is an employment attorney, ethno-religious mediator, conflict resolution coach, and diversity trainer based in New York City. Her goal is to keep managers and small business owners out of court and build their conflict resolution skills–so everyone has a better work experience. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution, and an award-winning entrepreneur acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018, 2019 & 2020), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), and Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards).