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View Diary: Target Says, "We Won't Serve You" (265 comments)

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  •  I agree that..... (none)
    radical Christian values are a problem in this country. But look at it another way. If you were a Hindu, would you want to be forced to work in a beef packing operation? Probably not. Say you worked in a business that had both a beef packing operation and a pork and lamb operation. You might not have trouble working in the pork and lamb side, but would find the beef packing operation abhorrent. Do you think it is right to be told you have to work on both sides or you can't call yourself a meat packer? Conversely, what if you were Muslim or Jewish, would you like to be forced to do pork? Should, by your lights, physicians be forced to do abortions also? I don't think people should be forced to do what is abhorrent to their religion, but neither do I think their right to not pack beef or pork, or not participate in abortions, or dispense EC in any way interfere with other peoples right to have an abortion, eat beef or pork, or have EC dispensed. That is where separation of church and state comes in.
    Target denies this incident happened this way. We only know what is in the news media. I have questions: How many pharmacists were on duty? Was anyone else there to fill the prescription? What arrangements, if any, did Target make to get the prescription filled, since part of their stated policy is to fill these prescriptions promptly and with dignity for the consumer? Was the pharmacist rude or did he lecture the customer? That would violate the consumer's rights. However, IMHO, forcing the pharmacist to fill the prescription would violate their rights. Enquiring minds want to know.

    Bush lied, people died....in New Orleans.

    by SleeplessinSeattle on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 02:28:12 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's not the same thing -- (none)
      Nobody is forced into their job against their will. We apply for and accept positions based on the employer's needs and requirements.

      If you are an orthodox jew or muslim, you are probably not going to apply for a job at a non-kosher/non-halal meat packing plant. If you did apply for and accept the job, and one of the conditions is that you have to handle pork, then hell yes, you have to do your job.

      By the same token, if a pharmacist accepts a position at a store which clearly states a policy of filling all BC/EC rx's without comment or hassle, then they have the obligation to do so. If they choose not to, they can work someplace else. At the very least, they have the responsibility of informing the company of their objections at the time of hiring and the company has the obligation to come up with a solution that makes sure that the rx is filled without incident. At least, if they want my money, that is.

      "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." -- John Stuart Mill

      by Auntie Mame on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 07:16:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This may sound heartless, but perhaps some people (none)
      may need to consider different jobs . . . if they cannot meet some reasonable measures of employment in their role at a company.

      It seems one thing to respect an individual's values from a personal standpoint - allow them on-work break time for observing personal practices in relative private, support non-standard business clothing choices where it's physically safe to do so, etc. - but, is accomodation to the point of affecting that company's ability to do business with Customers an acceptable burden that must be borne by the employer in all cases?  Obviously not, so I guess we're discussing how to make reasonable limits on such allowances.

      If someone's values shift to suddenly require that they take breaks for up to two hours a day in order to make religious observances, it would not seem unfair of the business to note that the employee - who has been granted the personal time they desire - is no longer meeting performance goals for their job.   That employee may need to be eventually let go or find a new role in their company if there is no reasonable improvement in their work/life balance back towards work in the current position.

      I just wonder where the reasonable limit happens to lie.

      Perhaps that depends on what the business is willing to bear as a cost to keeping "faith-limited" employees in certain positions which affect the bottom line . . . after respecting their employee's personal desires to wear head scarves, take breaks for prayer, etc. in manners which won't place religious requirements on their customers.

      An employee who refuses to dispense a drug on personal religious grounds essentially puts their business in the role of implicitly placing religious requirements before their customers.  The business may have other requirements when it comes to serving their customers, of course - such as only refusing a customer service when legal or medical conditions seem to warrant doing so.  Interestingly, a Customer can argue medical or legal judgements, but not so with religious faith - faith is unquestionable.

      So, if a family planning clinic desires to hire only physicians who can and will perform abortion procedures as part of the job description, I don't think it's unfair of the business to not employ an otherwise qualified applicant who won't perform those procedures.  Primarily because the applicant actually isn't qualified for that particular position, after all.  Maybe they could still be hired for a different role, though.

      24 hour pharmacies around here tend to have a single Pharmacist available in the evenings; I suppose that a pharmacy business which desires to sell/dispense their full range of stocked products could consider keeping "faith-limited" Pharmacists in perpetual backup situations with other employees - i.e., so that there is always someone present to handle the business need.  But, that might mean keeping a second Pharmacist on the clock during the night shift and/or trying to schedule the "faith-limited" ones only during daytime hours . . . so that emergency contraception for late-night rape victims never goes unsold when requested, for example.

      Sure, the pharmacies can work through those issues and bear more burden because of an employee's values actually clashing with the business goals of their employer - but again, at what point can the employer decide that someone just isn't meeting the criteria of the job, without being taken to court for discrimination?  If that business desires to support the sale of all inventory which they stock for consumers, must they survey the range of pharmacists to determine who won't dispense what, and come up with backup schemes for each set of individual values?

      I thought that the example above of a pharmacist who simply works in a position where their personal values won't likely clash with the business goals of their employer was great, actually.  A good compromise.

      In your example of a meat-packer who cannot abide by involvement with beef, it might mean that you (the employee) get fewer hours because your employer decided to shift their emphasis towards the beef market - that doesn't seem to imply that your personal beliefs are being hit upon, merely that your beliefs unfortunately clash with their business goals.  It may be time to find another job if the company can't find more hours for you within the context of their new target market, I'm afraid.

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