Posts tagged ‘employment’

May 13th, 2013

Teaming up With Reasonable Faith

by Max Andrews

The last few weeks of mine have been incredible. My wife graduated with her BS in Communications specializing in PR and Advertising and graduated with my Master’s in Philosophical Studies. These few weeks have allowed our humanity to express every range of the human emotion, which is a good thing.

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As we prepare to move to Scotland for my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, we are seeing family and traveling places before we go. One of my main goals was to attain an adjunct position with a university so I can be a professor and work online. Well, I am no longer teaching intro. to philosophy courses at a University, which is sad. However, God had different plans for me–at least for the time being. I’m very humbled to announce that I have been offered and have taken a position with William Lane Craig’s ministry, Reasonable Faith.

April 5th, 2012

Why I’m a Christian: Kyle

by Max Andrews

I was raised by a nominally Christian family.  We went to church every Sunday, but that’s about the extent of our Christian devotion.  Outside of those church walls on Sunday mornings, it wasn’t an important thing.  I was a kid at the time.  I didn’t read the Bible or pray, nor was I encouraged to.  I wasn’t even taught that sex outside of marriage was wrong.  Honestly, I didn’t even see the point in going to church.  When I got a job and started working on Sundays at 16, I stopped going to church.  I was pretty relieved, because I hated going.  It was always incredibly boring!  Just get the service over with so I can have some lunch, I always thought.

In that time Christianity wasn’t part of my life.  Though I never became an atheist, religion wasn’t important to me.  I lived as if God wasn’t there.

Back in 2008 when I was about 20, I began suffering from major loneliness and depression.  I wanted to love and to be loved, but all of my friends were off to college, I wasn’t getting along with my roommate, and there were no potential girlfriends in town.  I wanted my life to have a purpose, but I was stuck in a dead end town with a dead end job.

November 19th, 2011

The Philosophy of the Job Search

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest blog post by Doug Andrews.  Doug has been in retail for almost thirty years and is currently runs a side-project of assisting others get better jobs.  You can find more information at his website JobCoachHQ.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @JobCoachHQ.

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The opportunity to write a guest blog is one I couldn’t pass up.

My background is from the business world.   I have a BS in Business Management from Bloomsburg University.   I have worked for 3 of the largest corporations in their respective industries, Foot Locker, Gateway Computers and for the past 10 years I have been with Barnes and Noble.  I have recently been publicly speaking on the topic of Interviewing.  I have a website that promotes my efforts to inform others of the job search process, JobCoachHQ.com

July 5th, 2011

The Intolerance Continues Against Frank Turek

by Max Andrews

I was checking some analytics from my blog today and noticed that there was a referral to my blog that I had not noticed before.  It was from the about.com forum for agnosticism/atheism.  Granted, I’m not a “neutral” site, I’m open about my theistic beliefs; however, I found it interesting to be categorized with “the usual” “Liberals hate Christians and the Gays are taking over.”  What is perplexing about this categorization is that I don’t have anything in my initial post on Turek, my follow-up post, or my whole blog for that manner, that has anything about “gays taking over” or “liberals [hating] Christians”.  If anything, my posts were more politically oriented trusting in our freedom of religion to be preserved and recognized by the United States (see the original post for citations).  I’ve claimed that this is a religious issue simply because that’s the problem Cisco has with Turek, which is something protected by the Civil Rights Act.

This person who posted the initial thread claimed that at that time (June 29), he/she could not have found any other information about Turek or the Cisco incident.  I’m not quite sure how this person found my blog but I’m glad it was found and shared where it was.  What’s interesting about this is that many of the thread contributors in this forum serve my previous points well.  All of this is so hypocritical (assuming they value tolerance).  Some of these posts are just great.  I’ve cited a couple for your information (and perhaps your entertainment).

If the guy is a contractor rather than an actual employee, I don’t think the usual rules apply viz. his “employment”, since he wasn’t technically employed by the company in question, but just brought in to go some motivational thingies (that most workplaces would be better off without, IMHO).  He would be no more of an “employee” than the exterminator that might be contracted to handle insect problems.

His homophobia, I think, might well qualify as interfering with his ability to perform the task he was contracted to serve.  Having denounced certain classes of people, that could easily preclude his being able to be a good motivator for people he has denounced. (AtheistKeith)

And…

I would think it partially had to do with how his outside activities effect his performing his job.

If he is a motivational speaker I assume his job is to motivate the people at Cisco to make them better workers.

If I were working at Cisco and I knew the motivational speaker trying to rev me up was someone who thought I was supposed to be a second class citizen and was basically anti “me” I am not going to be very  motivated by him because I am going to be assuming everyone out of his mouth is as much bull$hit.

It’s not like he was fired for just thinking things. He wrote a book and gives public talks against gay rights. And then wants to go motivate the workers at a company that employs many gay and gay friendly employees?

Sometimes what you do in your private life effects your ability to do your job. When it doesn’t you should be able to do, think, or say what ever you want. When it does then that is a different story.

I don’t know if this should qualify or not, but it seems like it is a possibility. It would depend on if knowledge of this has actually made him ineffective. Have people refused to attend his talks? Have his talks not resulted in an increase in what ever they are supposed to increase since this has become known to the employees?

If not, and if he doesn’t identify himself as having any kind of relationship with Cisco when he gives his anti gay work, then he shouldn’t be fired. If it does negatively effect [sic] his ability to do his job, or he is publicly identifying as a Cisco employee, then I think they probably have some kind of grounds.

Also, if I read this right he really isn’t an employee of the company, but rather he was a vendor. That is a very different relationship and I don’t know if the same rules apply to vendors that would apply to actual employees.
Since his function was to teach team building, and since I don’t think that writing books and giving public speeches about how some of the other people on your team should not have equal rights is a good way to build a cohesive team, I think Cisco can make a good case for having just cause for terminating him. But we will see what the courts say. (TonyM9)

Now here is one of the more substantive posts.

Like you I’m not finding a ton of stuff. However, Here is his “secular” website advertising his consulting work

http://www.frankturek.com/index.asp

It mentions that he has published 3 books, one of which apparently was part of the problem the employee had with him.

Then, there is his religious site http://www.crossexamined.org/team.asp

Apparently, he uses both to advertise himself and his work.  Since his business site refers to his books and his other web sites, it strikes me that his “not mentioning these things at work” is a non-starter, since he makes his opinions well known publically, for profit. Consultants and coaches should recognize that their personal brand can’t be set up for one group of people on one web site and for another group on a different site, without overlap.

I gather from reading that he was paid for the complete contract he had as a vendor–that would likely make it more or less impossible to sue, depending on the contract–after all, what was his loss? (shopper113)

It’s true that Turek links his consulting website to resources available for defending the Christian worldview.  My question is, why is this a problem?  How is making information available on his consulting website inconsistent with Cisco’s values (see original post)?  It’s all the same and those who march under the banner tolerance and diversity who simply do not tolerate different beliefs other than what they believe is simply inconsistent using an old banner to purport their own intolerant agenda.

June 25th, 2011

Exclusive Diversity – More Thoughts on Frank Turek and Cisco’s Discrimination

by Max Andrews

Soon after hearing about Frank Turek’s wrongful termination by Cisco Systems I blogged about the situation in hopes of getting this information out for as many people to hear as I could reach.  Hundreds have since read my post and it has been shared by many organizations and individuals (thanks for sharing the news!).  Recently, I discovered a comment that was left on this post by Kathleen, which stated,

You seemed to be confused about what diversity is. It doesn’t mean a company is going to welcome skinheads, white surpremacists [sic] or anti-gay bigots.

Later, Blinkyboy left some loving words as he accused Dr. Turek of hate speech.

Actually Turek’s book qualifies as hate speech based upon its consistent use of lies and plagiarism. No one has to employ a lying bigot.

This is incredible.  I couldn’t help but shake my head at such horrible logic, intolerance, and hypocrisy.  Those who march under the banner of diversity and tolerance are the same ones who are just as or more intolerant than anyone else.  I’m not anti-diversity nor am I anti-tolerance.  Diversity is crucial for many things.  Diversity increases flow of perspective and thought in the free marketplace of ideas.  Diversity allows for a greater increase of making catalysts for attaining goals of an organization or group.  I certainly do my best to tolerate others as well.  However, tolerance is not the same as acceptance.  Tolerance is allowing others to hold the opinions and ideas that they may have.  Acceptance is embracing those opinions and ideas.  These two commenters who maliciously attack Dr. Turek are ignorant of what tolerance and diversity really mean.  If they claim to be proponents of such ideas, then they’re speaking out of both ends of their mouth.  This whole “hate speech” deal is just ridiculous.  Does having an opinion that doesn’t accept an idea or practice, in Dr. Turek’s case, homosexual marriage, qualify as hate speech?  I don’t think so.  The whole idea of “hate speech” is just off in my opinion anyways.  People can say whatever they want, if it’s hateful then they have the freedom to do so, but it shouldn’t be criminalized.  Many proponents homosexual marriage lobby need to check their words and their ideas before accusing others of being intolerant, hateful, or non-diverse lest they backfire.

June 16th, 2011

Frank Turek and Cisco Systems’ Discrimination

by Max Andrews

Today started off as a rather normal day for me at the office until I happened to notice Dr. Frank Turek post an unsettling news update from his Twitter account.  His tweet read,

The Cisco Kid: Fired by Cisco for my political views even though they were never mentioned during work. http://t.co/pwH8UjB via @townhallcom

I almost passed over it as I briefly scrolled through my feed.  The link he had shared was an open letter written by Dr. Mike S. Adams to Mr. John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems Inc.  The account of what happened can be read in the letter but I’ll share a brief synopsis.  Dr. Turek was hired by Cisco back in 2008 to train in leadership techniques and team building for their Remote Operations Services team.  Dr. Turek “was fired as a vendor for his political and religious views, even though those views were never mentioned or expressed during his work at Cisco.”  What happened was one of the managers in Dr. Turek’s program Googled Turek and noticed that he had authored a book, which advocated a particular position on marriage that this manager, a self-identified homosexual, disagreed with.  A complaint was filed against Dr. Turek for not having values consistent with Cisco.

This has got to be one of the poorest responses Cisco management could have to this type of situation for there are several things that are wrong here.  According to Dr. Adams’ open letter the complaining manager discovered that Dr. Turek had written a book on same-sex marriage.  Now, North Carolina is a “right to work” or “at-will” state.  This means that an employer can terminate an employe without notice, with or without any reason at all.  However, the reasons for Dr. Turek’s termination were given as being inconsistent with Cisco’s values.  There are exceptions to North Carolina’s “at-will” employment laws.  Wrongful termination can be filed for discrimination of age; national origin; disability (physical or mental); HIV/AIDS; gender; race; religion; genetic testing; lawful use of any product during non-work hours; military service; or sickle-cell trait.  According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 discrimination is prohibited based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.  SEC. 2000e. [Section 701], the subchapter defines “religion” as follows.

(j) The term “religion” includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.

I have very few credentials in legal research, being that I only took a handful of undergraduate government courses, but it seems that Dr. Turek has a legitimate wrongful termination case to be made in an “at-will” state.  I will yield the legal research and precedents to those who are more credentialed and qualified than I am to explicate the legal issues here.

This whole situation is strikingly similar, perhaps even worse than the wrongful termination of NASA’s JPL information technology specialist David Coppedge.  Here’s a summary of the situation as provided by The Discovery Institute based out of Seattle, WA.

David Coppedge was an information technology specialist and system administrator on JPL’s international Cassini mission to Saturn, the most ambitious interplanetary exploration ever launched. A division of California Institute of Technology, JPL operates under a contract with the federal space agency. Coppedge held the title of “Team Lead” System Administrator on the mission until his supervisors demoted and humiliated him for advancing ideas that superiors labeled “unwelcome” and “disruptive.” Ultimately they fired him.

Coppedge was terminated for allegedly “pushing” intelligent design upon his coworkers.  JPL associated this with Coppedge’s “religious beliefs” and so Coppedge sued on grounds of religious discrimination.  (I suggest reading the articles listed for a full account).  Cisco meets a sub-par standard of internal consistency and had a knee-jerk reaction to, well they didn’t really know what it was they were reacting to.  According to Cisco Systems,

Cisco values and fosters diversity, development, and growth opportunities for staff through employee networks. These networks join employees to help reinforce the value of all aspects of each member’s personality. Valuing the differences in each person increases individual and team performance, productivity, and satisfaction. Cisco believes that its employee networks are critical to an inclusive organizational culture.

Sounds grand, right?  By all appearances this seems to be a harbor of professional, kind, and moral work atmosphere free of discrimination.  The problem is how consistent is Cisco going to be with this if it is at all possible?  Here are a few shortcomings Cisco made amidst this whole debacle.

  1. Cisco failed to comply with its own policy of “diversity” for not allowing, valuing, and fostering a view of heterosexual marriage that does not support same-sex marriage (Dr. Turek’s belief).
  2. Cisco failed to substantiate reasonable evidence of Dr. Frank Turek’s non-compliance.  The employee did not even exhaust the “evidence” (the book) prior to reporting the violation of values, which seems at this point to be hearsay at best, especially if it was not investigated by Human Resources.
  3. Cisco failed to recognize the complaining manager’s lack of fostering “diversity” and, by Cisco’s apparent standards, is just as guilty of failing to uphold these values as Dr. Turek.
  4. Cisco’s value and diversity policy is internally inconsistent, it is self-defeating.  There is absolutely no room for genuine diversity if Dr. Turek is an example of the practice of such diversity enforcement.  Reasons 1 and 3 make each party guilty of the same thing, which doesn’t permit anyone to have any expression [or beliefs unexpressed, as with Dr. Turek].  This follows that even if Cisco were to enforce any consequences for failing to comply with the value and diversity policy it would be a self-incriminating act by Cisco itself for failing to permit diversity.
  5. Essentially, tolerance and diversity is incredibly ambiguous (perhaps illusory) and inconsistently applied in Cisco Systems Inc.

I would like to call for Casey Luskin and the Discovery Institute to assist Dr. Frank Turek in legal advice (since they are not only a science think tank but also assist in legal affairs).  What makes this whole situation worse than Coppedge’s case is that none of these personal beliefs were expressed in the work atmosphere.  I stand behind Dr. Turek and Dr. Adams in their pursuit for answers, justice, and genuine equality under law.  I commend Dr. Adams for challenging Cisco CEO Mr. John Chambers to see if he is personally consistent with his company’s own policy (Chamber’s being politically conservative himself).  How far will we allow this inconsistency and self-defeating practice of “diversity” go under the guise of “tolerance”?