update: my employees got into a religious argument and now things are in chaos

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the letter-writer whose employees got into a religious argument, resulting in chaos? Here’s the update.

I wanted to give you all an update on my workplace situation last year where two of my employees who are Muslim made religious harassment comments toward another report of mine who is a Wiccan. The situation became quite the roller coaster. First off, some backstory. Our area has a sizeable Muslim population and my company in particular has a history of discrimination and harassment lawsuits in regard to Muslims after 9/11 in 2001. This explains my own manager pushing me to fire Harry the Wiccan and disregarding the actions of Crabbe and Goyle the Muslim employees (I’m changing from Fred and George to Malfoy’s little minions, I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that in the first letter).

I also want to make apparent that Harry is by far my favorite employee as he has always been reliable, efficient, friendly with other staff, and a great asset to our team. Hence why I felt very protective of him through this whole ordeal. Everyone else including the 2 also make meaningful contributions as well that I do appreciate.

I did take your advice in my discussions with these three about how religious harassment comments will not be tolerated. I do want to note that my original letter, I unknowingly misconstrued Harry’s initial response. The witnesses to this argument had since verified that Harry did not so much make similar egregious remarks about Islam as much as he explained that Islam has been grossly misunderstood so they should not be insulting or belittling his own spiritual beliefs. The witnesses don’t interpret his response at all as egregious as what C and G said. So, to him I did soften the message to be very mindful of how he responds to any kind of harassment and to bring any issues to me in the future. To Crabbe and Goyle, I warned them that their actions were completely inexcusable and will not be tolerated at all going forward, to stop the whispered comments they are making about other staff especially me and Harry and warned that they will be terminated if they cross the line again. Both verbalized understanding to me at the time.

A day later, my boss Snape called me in to repeat that Harry needs to be fired immediately for his harassment. I again explained that Crabbe and Goyle were the ones harassing, not Harry, and should be disciplined but I was not willing to fire them just yet. I was willing to give them a final warning and go from there. He then went on how Harry doesn’t have a ‘real’ religion and that Crabbe and Goyle just came to him about they have already begun a lawsuit against Harry and the company. He then explained that with our company’s history of Islamic discrimination lawsuits that he is willing to side with the Two, because AGAIN, its 2 vs 1! I immediately ended this conversation and went straight for HR.

Our HR manager Minerva had heard of the situation but believed that I had already handled it and supported my decisions in how I addressed each employee. She was confused and furious when I told her what Snape had pushed me to do and assured me, she will handle this. The next day I was called in with Minerva and Albus the big boss to explain to them all that had happened. Afterwards they both assured me that Snape was way out of line, and they would address both him and the 2 about any lawsuit. In the meantime, C&G became increasingly distant with the rest of the team and would barely speak with Harry regarding work matters as he had already been doing after their first offense against him. I kept an eye on this to ensure that they did not engage in anything overtly hostile with nothing noted.

Later on in the week, Snape approached me and apologized for his earlier suggestion and incredibly misguided logic of firing Harry and sparing the other 2. Maybe not the best response on my part but I stated I was reluctant to accept his apology yet as he displayed some rather troubling views about how he regards different belief systems especially as he previously stated that Harry did not have a real legitimate faith and was willing to see him terminated for an incident he didn’t even start. He said nothing of this but said he was wrong. Next week, he and the 2 were fired. From what people were saying, Snape continued to spout off to Albus and Minerva that Wicca and other ‘weirdo’ faiths were not real, and that Harry was just some ‘wizard wannabe’. Also apparently, the lawsuit in question from Crabbe and Goyle was fabricated on their part. They only made an empty threat in order scare the company into firing Harry because they realized what they started could get them fired and thought with our history of discrimination lawsuits against Muslims, they would be able to get away with it.

This whole situation has made my head spin as I did not anticipate such a trying follow up to what should have been just my initial conversations with each of the original 3. Though I am glad things did somewhat work out for my team and for Harry who continues to excel in his role. After this whole ordeal, I touched base with him to reassure him that I do not find him at fault for how this escalated and apologized that it had and with such vitriol directed at him. He was grateful for me for being in his corner through this whole situation and glad to remain in his role which he loves despite this unpleasant ordeal. Albus and Minerva have also spoken with him with their own reassurances and authorized a very generous raise on his behalf. I have started to advocate for him to be considered for higher positions within the company with something already on the horizon for him soon. The rest of my team have also expressed they backing of Harry and glad Crabbe and Goyle did not take this any further and cause damage to our team.

Thank you, Alison, for your advice. As lengthy as this is, I still only touched upon the main points so if anyone has any other questions or follow-ups, I will be glad to answer them in the comment section.

{ 198 comments… read them below }

  1. I need a new name...*

    So glad your HR and Head Boss were able to see the situation for what it was.
    That’s a lot to deal with.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Yes, a great example of HR doing what HR is supposed to do. I’m so happy to hear this situation resolved the way it should have, that the people who should have been fired were indeed fired (yikes on bikes for Snape’s comment about Wicca not being a “real” religion; I mean YIKES). Good for you OP for sticking to your guns and doing the right thing. Here’s hoping the very best for you and Harry.

      1. ADHDSquirrelWhat*

        I really hate the whole “real religion” idea.

        Being new doesn’t make it fake. Being popular or unpopular doesn’t make it fake. There’s no “real enough” rule. If people believe in the Eternal Cosmic Twinkie and hope to pass the Hermetic Sealed Wrapper, it’s a religion! (if they’re me and using that as an example that they sincerely hope offends no one because it’s not true, it’s not a religion! but it might be!)

        “you can be rude to PersonX because their religion is fake” can be used against ANY religion if someone’s being a jerk. Which is why that argument is inherently FALSE.

            1. DJ Abbott*

              I was just going to mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster, one of my friends mentioned it last year. :)

          1. Princess Sparklepony*

            Never forget that Twinkies are eternal, they never go stale. So I’m all on board for the ECT. May the filling be with you.

        1. Curmudgeon in California*


          For example, Pastafarianism is as real as any other religion, even though it’s adherents use it to poke fun at religion in general. (I still want to be able to do a Pastafarian Tent Revival and Spaghetti feed where donations in the offering plate help offset the cost of the food, but no one who attends goes hungry.)

          I’m actually Pagan, and my religion is as real as I am.

          All religions when looked at from the outside are strange and silly. But if they feed the need for the individual to connect with nature or divinity, then they are doing their job, no matter how silly they seem.

          I have been on the receiving end of “not a real religion” comments, and it makes me mad. Sometimes, if my job is not on the line, I describe their religions tenets in a “not real” fashion as a counter argument. It usually makes the point, or at least shuts them up. I will not do it here, because it is actually disrespectful to sincere worshippers.

          (Note: At least some branches of paganism have a belief that ‘if you can’t laugh at your own religion sometimes, you need a new religion’. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously with a thing we are supposed to find joy in.)

          1. DataSci*

            I’ve seen the ‘laugh at jokes about your own religion’ as the dividing line between a religion and a cult. Not all jokes, obviously, but if there aren’t any you’d tell among yourselves, it’s a bad sign. (I’m a UU. My favorite is the one about the coffee maker.)

        2. No Longer Looking*

          It’s hard to have a “real religion” vs a “fake religion” discussion when religion is by definition a belief in the unprovable. That can easily be reframed from a scientific perspective as a belief in the unreal, thus defining all religions as “fake.” I don’t think most people want to go down that road, and the only other option is to accept all religions as “real.”

          1. lazuli*

            Most religions aren’t actually defined by any belief system (I think it’s Christianity and Islam alone). Most are more defined by community and/or practice. Pagans can be atheist, monotheist, or polytheist, for instance.

            1. TomatoSoup*

              Yeah. People from Christian cultural backgrounds straight up don’t believe me when I say one can be a Jew and an atheist at the same time. Belief is not a prerequisite.

              1. Summer*

                @TomatoSoup – I feel seen because of your comment. I am an atheist and am Jewish; one does not negate the other.

                1. Satellite*

                  This is very interesting, would you mind further expanding on the fact that a person can be Jewish but also an atheist? I hope I don’t seem ignorant but I sincerely did not know this and would appreciate an education on the distinction. One of my favorite things about AAM is learning about other people’s faith practices and religions, it’s been an invaluable resource and education for me personally through the years.

                2. TomatoSoup*

                  @Satellite, belief simply isn’t a theological requirement to be Jewish. You’re Jewish because you were born to at least one Jewish parent (many, but not all, Jewish groups require that the “qualifying” parent be the mother) or you converted. Once you’re in, that’s it. There’s no getting kicked out. Often, engagement with Jewish texts and ideas is more important than the conclusion one comes to. One of our most important sources of Jewish law (both day to day and theological) is the Talmud. It is 2711 pages of arguments and then there are further writings discussing/arguing about that. Honestly, this is one of my favorite things about Judaism. You can question and explore without losing a place in it entirely. My observances and beliefs have shifted over time, but none of it made me less or not Jewish.

                  Out of Jewish life and practice comes a culture (with many, many subcultures relating to countries of origin or observance) and many atheist Jews still identify deeply with that culture. Jews are often called a religio-cultural or religio-ethnic group. I know a number of atheist Muslims who don’t believe in certain theological aspects but still find great connection and meaning in observing holidays and other cultural elements they grew up with.

            2. Ambarish*

              > I think it’s Christianity and Islam alone

              Hmm … how do you mean? Are you saying that, say, Theravada or Lingayat aren’t belief systems, or did you mean something else?

              1. MM*

                I think what they mean is that many religions are much less concerned with whether adherents actually really truly believe in their hearts, and more with whether they adhere to the practices and participate in the community. Old Jewish joke:

                Two rabbis stay up all night debating whether God exists. Eventually, they agree God does not exist, and go to bed satisfied. The next morning, one rabbi walks by the other opening up the synagogue for prayer. The first rabbi goes, “Hey, I thought we agreed there was no God?!” The other rabbi goes, “Yeah, so? What does that have to do with anything?”

                1. kt*

                  The very idea of “propositional belief” defining a religion is a fairly Protestant idea, in my understanding. I am not sure of the contours of Islam. Certainly Judaism and Orthodox Christianities define “adherence” by practices and community rather than belief in a series of propositional statements, and most varieties Buddhism and Hinduism (in different ways) are also more about philosophies and practices. Any shamanic or “folk” religion is also more about practices and interaction with community/environment than checking off the boxes of belief in your mind.

                2. Phryne*

                  Funnily enough I recently looked up some numbers on religion in my country, and apparently 10% of the self-identified Catholics do not believe in god… Now that is one I cannot wrap my head around. You see, 54.1% of my countries population is non-religious. There is no need to be a Catholic unbeliever, you can just be an unbeliever. My ancestors were Catholics, I’m not, I’m atheist.
                  20.1% of the population is Catholic, 14.8% Protestant, 5% Muslim. In protestant and Muslim populations, only 2% is non-religious, so significantly lower than Catholic. Maybe Catholic people see their religion as closer connected to their identity than other faiths? Maybe to do with the history of the country, Calvinism having been the dominant faith for centuries and Catholicism merely being tolerated.
                  Also only 79.8% of the population never ever attends any sort of worship or service, so even of the believers there is a large portion that does not worship in community.

            3. Chirpy*

              I mean, both Christians and Muslims have pretty various ideas of what that system is, unless you’re meaning just monotheistic Abrahamic religions as a very basic grouping, which would also include Judaism (and a couple more smaller ones I’m not remembering right now.)

            4. Eyes Kiwami*

              That’s a very strange understanding, that the Abrahamic religions are the only ones that require belief. Most religions and spiritual practices require belief. And Christianity and Islam are very much defined by community and/or practice!

            5. lazuli*

              Look up orthodoxy vs orthopraxy. Christianity is extremely heavy on the orthodoxy (“right belief”), and many people in Christian-majority countries tend to think that all religions are equally so. Many are more focused on orthopraxy (“right action”), with belief being way less important/disqualifying.

              I does seem I mispoke about Islam — I thought there was a similar underlying profession of belief required.

        3. Pescadero*

          ” There’s no “real enough” rule.”

          The IRS sort of disagrees….

          If you don’t meet enough of the following – your religion is too fake to get tax exempt status.

          Distinct legal existence
          Recognized creed and form of worship
          Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
          Formal code of doctrine and discipline
          Distinct religious history
          Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
          Organization of ordained ministers
          Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
          Literature of its own
          Established places of worship
          Regular congregations
          Regular religious services
          Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
          Schools for the preparation of its members

          1. lazuli*

            But I doubt many (any?) of those things are required not to be discriminated against at work. Otherwise you could be discriminated against for atheism.

            1. Let me librarian that for you*

              U.S. courts have historically based their definitions of religion on checkboxes that favor traditions that structurally resemble Christianity. Indigenous faith traditions in which certain natural spaces are considered sacred, for example, are often overlooked in the law. But First Amendment free exercise protections really apply to any sincerely held belief (with ‘sincerely held’ problematic itself but hard to replace), including less familiar traditions.


          2. TomatoSoup*

            The US military will issue dog tags with FSM as a religious designation.

            Qualifying as a religious entity under IRS rules is not an indicator. Those items are examples of elements that can distinguish a religious groups, but groups are not required to fulfill them all. Especially not the Sunday school, which is a Christian construction.

              1. TomatoSoup*

                Their list is based in *Christian* terminology and theology. Judaism isn’t just Christianity minus the Jesus bit, nor is Islam Christianity plus a Mohammed bit.

          3. Curmudgeon in California*

            LOL, no.

            For example:
            “Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young” – This is specifically a Christian thing, requiring religious indoctrination of the young on Sunday. (Too bad for Seventh Day Adventists I guess?)

            “Established places of worship” – no. Even small Christian demoninations meet in someone’s home, a park or rented space. Not all religions have churches, and not all religions have a need for tax exempt status. (It’s hard to need tax exemption when you don’t have much income.)

            “Schools for the preparation of its members” – only certain large denominations of major religions have parochial schools. Again, this is biased toward people of the book.

            “Organization of ordained ministers” and “Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study” – again, this is very much biased toward institutionalized religions, like Christianity, that have lots of money, property, and dogma. In many pagan religions the ministry is made up of people who have done the equivalent of an apprenticeship. The curriculum for this training varies from group to group.

            “Literature of its own” – this is completely biased toward people of the book. Experiential religions don’t have governing literature, catechism, or “bibles”. Most of the “literature” is contemporaneous writings by adherents, not some old, moldy, multiple times reinterpreted books of allegedly ancient writings. There is no “Wiccan New Testament”, “Druidic Old Testament” or “Asatru Koran”. The idea is preposterous.

            “Membership not associated with any other church or denomination” – just the wording of this is biased toward people of the book. Pagans don’t have “churches”, generally. Plus, individuals may be affiliated with more than one “denomination”.

            All of the “distinct creed”, “ecclesiastical government”, “Formal code of doctrine and discipline” and “Formal code of doctrine and discipline” are again heavily biased toward old, established and dogmatic religions, the dysfunction of which is why people turn to paganism. While some pagan religions have tried to set up these trappings to try to please the biased IRS guidelines alleged here, most of us laugh at it.

            I found the pdf you grabbed this list from, but you left out a very important paragraph:

            “The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes.”

            Not all “real” religions want to be “churches” for tax purposes. (It doesn’t even come into play unless the organization takes in over $5000 a year.) You can read the real IRS rules about tax exemption (which is not the same as whether a religion is “real” or not) in this pdf: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

            Most notably, it does not say that religions who don’t meet these (heavily biased) guidelines are “fake”, it merely says they may not qualify for tax exempt status. Those are two different things.

            A 13 member Wiccan coven is not likely to have a “church” property, a paid minister, or a parochial school. The idea is ridiculous. It also doesn’t take in $5000/year or more in donations. Even groups of covens, circles and kindreds don’t bring in that much. Specifically, 8 regular celebrations per year, times maybe $500 per event toward costs is only $4000, and with a different group presenting each time, it doesn’t come close to meeting the threshold.

            So you are barking up the wrong tree if you use biased IRS tax exemption criteria to determine the “realness” of a religion. Their criteria are intended to separate religious organizations from scams, and they don’t do very well at that, IMO.

            1. kt*

              Wow, and consider how that all interfaces with the religious/faith traditions of First Nations people! Anyone who didn’t convert to Christianity (or Judaism or Islam I guess…) is basically religiously disenfranchised. Wow!

          4. Emi*

            The “real enough” rule that matters here is the EEOC’s, though, and that covers “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”

            1. TomatoSoup*

              Yes! Because the government cannot and should not be in the position of deciding if a religion is “real enough”.

          5. Chexwarrior*

            There is a big difference between “Doesn’t get IRS tax exempt status” and “can be mocked without consequence, is undeserving of EEOC protection, is justly a punching bag of members of ‘tax exempted’/’more real’ religions…”

    2. Chilipepper attitude*

      Honestly, the fact that HR and head boss saw things clearly is, to me (an atheist), a holiday miracle!!

      1. Magenta Sky*

        Either HR was competent, or somebody talked to a lawyer, or both. Given the history of discrimination lawsuits, I suspect the conversations with a lawyer go way back.

        1. ferrina*

          I’m guessing both. I’ve seen good lawyers desperately try to guide a bad HR, and it’s not pretty.

  2. Rick Tq*

    Oh. Wow. OP, I’m *very* impressed your company actually penalized the three’s bad behaviors instead of focusing on the scapegoat.

    1. Mf*

      Yes, and I would add: OP handled this like an absolute champ, especially the conversation where Snape disparaged Harry’s religious beliefs.

  3. ZSD*

    Wow. That whole situation is nuts. I did not foresee Snape chiming in on Wicca not being a real religion!
    That said, Harry wasn’t given the raise because of this situation, was he? I’m hoping the raise is due to his generally excellent performance and is unrelated to this situation.

    1. Oyoyo*

      It was probably why it was so big given the fact that Harry himself likely had enough grounds for a lawsuit.

      1. Just Your Everyday Crone*

        IAAL and I don’t think Harry had grounds for a lawsuit, at least not on the facts described. The company did not discriminate against him (he wasn’t fired, demoted, transferred, etc) and acted to end the discrimination by the individuals involved by firing him.

        1. Presea*

          I am also not a lawyer, but I have to wonder if Snape’s actions were egregious enough to be lawsuit material. Minerva, Albus, and OP acted to end the discrimination of the individuals; Snape, who was at the time just as much a representative of the company as the other three, doubled down and added to the discrimination, to the point of attempting to block OP from taking effective action.

          1. Happy meal with extra happy*

            It likes like Crone is a lawyer (IAAL vs IANAL), and as another lawyer, I agree with them that there’s likely no lawsuit for Harry to pursue. Maaaayybbeee depending on the state laws, he could pursue a suit against Snape individually for discrimination, but there are still no significant damages and no real chance of any payout from Snape.

            1. Magenta Sky*

              I wouldn’t want to be Snape in California, where he has considerable personal liability. (Well, I wouldn’t want to be him anywhere, at any time, under any circumstance.) Technically, the company probably would have some as well (since Snape mishandled the initial incident so badly, in a supervisory capacity), but given how they handled it, eventually, it wouldn’t be worth pursuing.

              (IANAL, but I’ve been through the training every two years like everybody else. I will acknowledge, though, that California is pretty extreme in these laws.)

            2. A Poster Has No Name*

              I figure someone must have sat Snape down and told him that none of the players yet had a lawsuit, but if he succeeded in getting Harry fired, Harry would almost certainly have one. That seems like the only thing that might have gotten through.

        2. Ex-Teacher*

          I think it’s because OP, HR, and Big Boss actually followed up on the issue to ensure that Harry was respected and the harassment stopped.

          If Snape had actually gotten Harry fired, or if C&G had remained employed and continued a pattern of harassment, then there might be grounds. Fortunately OP stuck to what’s right, and HR/Big Boss were competent.

        3. JM60*

          If he wasn’t given a raise, but otherwise would’ve been given a raise if not for his religion (which didn’t affect his job performance), then Harry was discriminated against on the basis of his religion.

          Whether or not he could prove such discrimination is a different story.

    2. Clefairy*

      It sounds like he did face discrimination based on his religion, both from Crabbe and Goyle as well as Snape, and (to a small extent), the OP who ignored a hostile work environment (initially ignoring the under the breath whispers/retaliation from Crabbe and Goyle). I wonder if the company offered him a raise in exchange for him signing away rights to sue, which I feel like is a thing that happens sometimes? I could def be wrong though, I’ve never dealt with anything like this.

      1. OP aka Remus Lupin*

        Hi Clefairy, OP here. How exactly did I contribute to Harry’s discrimination? The initial reason I did not act on the whispered conversation was because I could not pick up on anything derogatory. And the raise was given because Harry is an excellent employee and as a token our apologies for what was going on. He did not “sign away rights to sue”. I don’t think I care for the cynical approach you seem to have about me or this situation. So yes, you are definitely wrong because you are not aware of these situations. I certainly never anticipated having to.

        1. Clefairy*

          I didn’t meant that in a derogatory or accusatory way, I’m sorry if it came across like that. But legally, ignoring harassment/retaliation is akin to harassment/retaliation, even if you didn’t intend it that way or realize you were doing that.

        2. zoop*

          OP, I am so very happy at this update, and I certainly don’t see anything in your actions that “contributed”. Thank you so very, very much for supporting your employee and making sure he got support from the system.

          1. RunShaker*

            Hi OP, thank you for the update. I didn’t see anything in your actions either that contributed…. Thank you from me as well for standing up & writing in to obtain the advice needed! Also, comments like above are rare.

        3. TomatoSoup*

          OP, you’re fine. Trying to drag you into some theory of discrimination is a bigger stretch than you’d see at a rhythmic gymnastics meet. I used to be an attorney in employment law and I can’t see any approach (legal or just generally logical/ethical) that would blame you under the information provided.

    3. WantonSeedStitch*

      My only surprise with Snape is that he “said the quiet part out loud.” A LOT of people feel that way about Wicca. Even people who want to avoid being perceived as intolerant often have a bias in that direction, though they might not express it outright.

      Signed, someone who pretty much always has to check the box marked “other” for any questions about religion

    4. Retro*

      Am I the only person who doesn’t have a problem with Harry being given a raise to smooth over the mistreatment from Crabbe, Goyle, and Snape?

      Of course Harry should be rewarded for his stellar work performance, but I honestly think it’s just fine for the organization to put their money where their mouth is and give Harry this raise as a commitment to treating Harry well, saying they value him, and apology for the series of events he’s been put through.

      1. e271828*

        It sounds as though Harry showed exemplary professionalism throughout this unpleasantness. I feel the raise was earned and deserved.

    5. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I don’t see that Harry got a raise to make up for being discriminated against. I see that Harry got a raise because he proved his ability to respond calmly and communicate professionally in stressful situations when he is being targeted.

      After all, isn’t that ability exactly what we are here to try master in order to manage more effectively?

    1. Where’s the Orchrstra?*

      I agree that Snape handled everything really badly, but OP mentions that there had been prior really bad incidents involving discrimination against the Muslim Community around them. I wonder if there was a bunch of sensitivity training that Snape took some misguided “rules” from with the hope of no more bad publicity.

      Also wonder if Crabbe and Goyle were consciously playing into that history hoping to use it as a get out of jail free card.

      1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

        I might chalk Snape’s reaction up to that if he didn’t ALSO say Harry’s religion wasn’t real.

  4. Where’s the Orchrstra?*

    Yeah – sounds like Crabbe and Goyle are good descriptions for those two, as they couldn’t take in basic information and change their actions (for those unfamiliar with the series Grabbe and Goyle aren’t very smart as portrayed in the series – but are very cruel).

    Glad to hear the rest of the office didn’t turn on Harry after the trouble makers were let go, and that things have seemingly settled down.

    1. Observer*

      It’s not too surprising. After all, those were the people who told the OP how badly the two had misbehaved, and confirmed that Harry’s behavior was reasonable and simply self-defense.

    2. NerdyKris*

      Seriously, this could have all been smoothed over with a warning and an apology, but they decided to play chicken for no good reason and lost.

      1. Where’s the Orchrstra?*

        I’ve used it before: play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        Crabbe and Goyle won the stupid prize.

  5. Putting the Dys in Dysfunction*

    Harassment begets harassment. The company’s history (combined with the larger Islamaphobia in the U.S.) may have contributed to Crabbe and Goyle’s own sense that their harassment of Harry was OK, and to their sense that Harry’s defense was harassment towards them.

    The parties most at fault have been fired, but there is no happy result here, as religious hatred reappeared and was only banished, not nullified.

    1. jasmine*

      > The company’s history (combined with the larger Islamaphobia in the U.S.) may have contributed to Crabbe and Goyle’s own sense that their harassment of Harry was OK

      Ehhhh. Facing prejudice doesn’t make it more likely that you’ll be prejudiced to others. I’m Muslim and I don’t know anyone who feels entitled to harass others as a result of facing it themselves.

      Every community just has its set of jerks.

      1. marvin*

        I saw this as a comment on lateral aggression, which seems to me like it could possibly be a factor here. I think it’s kind of a normal human thing that when we face trauma, we often end up taking it out on other people in our own communities or in similar communities. Not that most people do this, but it is unfortunately not unheard of.

        1. jasmine*

          I mean… not really. People who aren’t part of any minority group harass people just as often, if not more often.

    2. PinkCandyfloss*

      Agree. The troublemakers have been removed from the immediate situation, but the system that created a culture of harassment of people for various beliefs (Muslims and Wiccans both included) remains and this will unfortunately not impact beyond the immediate issue on this team.

      Which is good for OP but we need to do better for society at large.

    3. Toast*

      Yeah one unfortunate thing I’ve learned in my life is that just because you’ve been discriminated against doesn’t mean you’re not a bigot against other groups. See Kanye West

  6. Falling Diphthong*

    OP, I really appreciate the detail in your penultimate paragraph that you and other managers told Harry you had his back here.

  7. Dances with Flax*

    This is a wonderful early Solstice present for this proud pagan reader of AAM! And of course, it’s an even better present for Harry. Great resolution all around!

    And for the misguided manager who thinks that Wicca isn’t a “real” religion, there are a couple of points to ponder:

    1. The US government now allows headstones of soldiers buried in military cemeteries to have the pentacle symbol carved on them in recognition of their pagan faith.

    2. Wicca (a modern branch of paganism) is indeed, in its present form, a new religion (albeit one inspired by very ancient ones.) But the oldest religion in the world was new once! The age of a religion is far less important than what it teaches and inspires its adherents to do.

    Meanwhile, the happiest of winter holidays to everyone!

    1. Harrybeast*

      For those interested, there is a fascinating book on this subject: “The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft “ by Ronald Hutton. It’s full of riveting details and effectively makes the case that Wicca and other Pagan practices are indeed, real and thriving religions today.

    2. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

      They main point here being that everyone in the workplace needs to respect the religious beliefs of others whilst not imposing your own religious beliefs onto others, and that truly religion is best left out of the workplace entirely because of this.

    3. Emi*

      And as it happens, a “real religion” for legal purposes also includes “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views,” so Snape is *doubly* wrong!

  8. MassMatt*

    Wow, Crabbe and Goyle could dish it out but sure couldn’t take it!

    I’m glad upper management took swift action, so often here we see that’s very much not the case.

    1. EPLawyer*

      The fact that everyone else is happy with Crabbe and Goyle gone tells me they were probably the office bullies. Something tells me that Harry wasn’t the only one they picked on. Just the one who fought back.

      OP this is a good outcome but it does show you need to be more aware of what is happening. You were willing to let the whispering go because you hadn’t personally witnessed it. An office is not a court of law, you can act based on hearsay. Now you shouldn’t just start disciplining people because of that, but it can be grounds for investigating further.

      1. Observer*

        it does show you need to be more aware of what is happening. You were willing to let the whispering go because you hadn’t personally witnessed it. An office is not a court of law, you can act based on hearsay.

        I think that this is a very important point.

      2. Where’s the Orchrstra?*

        Agreed – I wonder if their “humorous pranks and jokes” were often mean-spirited when outside the bosses field of view. OP themselves in the original letter says there had been previous conversations with them about toning down and reigning in the jokes.

            1. EPLawyer*

              letting the comments go under the breath. I misread it as “not hearing it” but it was “nothing derogatory.” If someone is regularly whispering under their breath about another colleague, that is something you can act on. Even if it is just to find out what’s going on. Managing means noticing and stopping things BEFORE there’s a problem if you can.

              1. sundae funday*

                idk… I can understand how difficult it would be for LW to discipline someone for whispering something LW can’t hear. It would’ve been great if they’d been able to put a stop to it, though. But all Crabbe and Goyle had to say is “I said xyz, it’s not derogatory.”

                which… sounds like an elementary school scenario, tbh, so it really goes to show how childish they are!

                1. Eyes Kiwami*

                  OP could say “you need to stop whispering about Harry, I expect you to act respectfully and professionally.” It’s like they’re holding their fingers 1 cm from him saying “Not touching you!”… OP can still tell them to knock it off.

  9. Clefairy*

    OP, I enjoyed your Harry Potter naming convention haha. I’m curious who you would label yourself as in this recounting? Lupin? Sprout? Hagrid? Man, how sad is it that I’m sitting here struggling to name Hogwarts teachers that are actually kind, sensible people haha, I don’t think I ever realized how many of the teachers were terrible/batshit/actually evil/etc haha

      1. Where’s the Orchrstra?*

        But Neville isn’t a teacher until the postscript end credits chapter.

        But I’m glad he gets to go back as a teacher – I’m sure given his experiences being bullied that he’d be good at ferreting it out as a teacher.

  10. Momma Bear*

    I hope Harry’s raise is an indicator that the company sees him as an asset and not “please don’t sue us after the fact” but it sounds like HR had his back so they shouldn’t worry. Glad things worked out in the end. What a mess!

    1. excel jockey*

      I mean, I think it would be reasonable as recognition of what he went through. I would feel more valued by a company that tried to make me whole even if they dropped the ball at first.

      1. ferrina*

        I also think it would be reasonable, maybe less as recognition of what he went through, but more reinforcing his value. It’s a good retention strategy to reinforce value when employees go through times of extreme stress (whether it’s a raise, which sounds deserved in this case, or a conversation reinforcing how great the person is)

    2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      Yes, I was wondering if a raise would have been given if not for this situation? If it wouldn’t, it does seem a bit like paying him off to keep him sweet.

    3. Happy meal with extra happy*

      There’s nothing to sue for. There are generally specific scenarios for when a company is liable for the actions of a bad employee(s), and the fact that the higher ups here took the steps they did to shut down the bad employers as well as the fact that no adverse employment actions were taken against Harry means that there’s no lawsuit.

  11. Hermione*

    Well done in advocating for Harry and religious inclusion at your workplace! Thoroughly impressed by your HR team as well because many companies make the wrong decision as soon as a lawsuit is mentioned.

    1. Observer*

      On the other hand, it’s quite possible that it was the lawsuit that motivated HR. Let’s face it, if Harry had been fired he would definitely had a cause for a lawsuit / complaint to the relevant agency. So if HR is on the fence and the hear the work “lawsuit” they now have to think 1. Which law suit is more likely. and 2. Which lawsuit are they likely to win? And Harry’s lawsuit is NOT the one they would win.

      Still a good outcome because at least they were using their heads.

      1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I don’t think the lawsuit influenced HR at all. My take on the letter is that that the two instigators starting either throwing that word around, or whispering that word around hoping (correctly) that Snape would buckle and that OP would of course, follow suit. Instead, OP escalated TO HR.
        “Religious harassment is illegal!” Yes, yes, it is.
        They f**ed around and found out.

  12. HomebodHouseplant*

    As a Wiccan this is honestly really sad and is a huge reason why I am not open about my sincerely held religious belief at work or even socially. I’m really happy to hear you stood up for Harry and hope that the other 3 involved learn that people’s beliefs can differ and that doesn’t make one faith more or less legitimate than the other.

    1. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

      Even the comments here were a bit off honestly. The devil’s advocacy about “how far” religious protections should really go was indulged a bit more than that sort of thing usually is around here, and every comment I could find assumed the worst about what Harry said and felt even though the letter was pretty clear he was appealing to the his harassers’ empathy, not criticizing their faith.

  13. the cat's ass*

    wow. That was a RIDE. Glad it worked out the way it did-it’s always great when bosses and HR actually do the right thing. And Happy Solstice (yes, i know it’s tomorrow).

  14. PEB*

    lol is it bad that all I can think is that Fred and George are actually the more apt pseudonyms?

    But thank you letter writer for the update! I’m glad things (eventually) worked out and while Crabbe and Goyle’s actions were in no way okay, Snape’s actions seemed more egregious to me! So I’m glad your company was able to support you and your employee.

  15. ENFP in Texas*

    The Threefold Law in action…

    I’m glad to read this update. As a pagan, the ridicule and dismissal of Wicca as a “real” religion hits close to home. Especially considering how much effort went into getting it recognized in the US for inclusion on military headstones.

    1. Curmudgeon in California*

      Yeah, I’ve been pagan for over 40 years, and it’s been a tough climb to be recognized as being a real, tax exempt, religion. So many lawsuits over the years! I’ve never been party to any, but I, like many others, have kicked in money to support them.

      When I started, there were only the fledgling bits of a seminary that often flopped. Now there are at least three Pagan/Wiccan/Druid seminaries with serious curriculum. There is a thriving interfaith effort, and lots of other stuff. It’s kind of fun to watch a religion grow up.

      The internet has been a large contributor to the spread and cohesion of the various pagan denominations. The fact that here, on a non-religious site, I can find other pagans in the comments is an example of that.

  16. Observer*

    thought with our history of discrimination lawsuits against Muslims, they would be able to get away with it.

    Snape is obviously an idiot, but if he actually bought that line then he’s too stupid to be safe for the company. Because there is no way that’s true. Sure, it’s possible that this history could make a lawsuit more expensive and annoying. But ultimately, that’s not really relevant to the outcome.

    The one caveat to that is if the history you mention is very recent and they can show that non-muslims were allowed to get away with the kind of behavior they engaged in or that Muslims were seriously penalized for reasonable self-defense.

    1. EPLawyer*

      Why I think C & G were bullying more than Harry. They knew the company history and knew Snape would tolerate it rather than be seen as anti-Muslim. Which actually led to the same type of problem Snape was hoping to avoid.

    2. NeedRain47*

      are you claiming there’s no way that Crabbe and Goyle said that, or that there’s no way they would get away with it? I can’t tell.
      At any rate, I have certainly seen people who felt it could be perceived as discrimination if they were fired use that as a justification for doing a real bad job.

      1. Observer*

        are you claiming there’s no way that Crabbe and Goyle said that, or that there’s no way they would get away with it?

        Oh, I’m sure that they SAID that. But there is no way they could have won a case based on this. Sure, they could have caused some annoyance, but that’s about it.

  17. Alex (they/them)*

    idk how familiar others are with this but- JKR has been VERY vocally anti-trans the past couple years, actively using her fame and fortune to push transphobic rhetoric. She has also made it very clear that she views any support of the Harry Potter franchise as support of her terrible views so maybe it’d be best to pick a different book next time.

    1. anoncat*

      Yeah reading this update was no fun because of the constant jabbing presence of JKR and her hatefulness. And of course people are happy about it in the comments. Please read another book and get another cultural touchstone, folks.

      1. K Queer*

        Extremely agree. It’s disappointing how entrenched this universe it in the cultural lexicon as well as how easily people ignore the textually problematic stuff (anti-fatness, antisemitic tropes, inexplicable pro-slavery stance).

    2. different seudonym*

      I know that many people feel that fan use of the characters and universe is different than buying the books, movies, and paraphernalia, and that they refuse to give up what they love even as they reject R0wling’s increasingly genocidal anti-trans rhetoric. Some HP fan spaces are trans-inclusive or even majority-trans. My own sense is that that yes, fans can reappropriate, **but** it only really works in fan spaces. In broader publics, there’s just too much opportunity for dogwhistling. Here, where most people are not fans, I too would prefer to see no HP references.

      1. Johanna Cabal*

        This. That was the first thing I thought when I read the update.

        (I’m so glad that when I built my HP book collection years ago, most of them came from the used bookstore down the street.)

    3. metadata minion*

      Thank you!

      I also find that when you have a large number of people in a narrative, using names from an actual media object gets kind of confusing.

      1. short'n'stout*

        I agree – I never watched/read Game of Thrones, for example, so none of those names resonate with me or give me any sense of the characters they are standing in for.

        1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

          But it’s still better than just letters, as in “A said xyz to C, who then followed B into the bathroom to complain”.

    4. Presea*

      I agree. There’s no reason to believe OP’s intentions were anything unsavory, but it’s still pretty uncomfortable to see in this space as a trans person.

    5. I've got to get out of here (they/them)*

      I came here looking for this comment. At this point it is very hard for me to assume good intentions when people older than the age of 15 reference JKR’s work; it has become a transphobic dogwhistle.

    6. Moose*

      Also even though they were jerks, naming two Muslim characters Crabbe and Goyle after JKR’s poor history with writing Muslims in her own works was jarring to say the least. None of this has aged well.

    7. brjeau*

      Thank you for saying this. I’m one of those people who grew up with the hp books and they used to bring me a lot of joy, so I fully understand how it’s hard to let go of such a cultural touchstone. But JKR has decided to (enthusiastically!) throw in her lot with bigots and it really galls to see casual references to her work now.

    1. LG*

      They may well be, but to someone who has never read Harry Potter (yes, we do exist!) they’re just weird names.

    2. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

      Idk, those jerks would probably call their Wiccan coworker “Harry Potter” as a cruel joke so it seems weird to label him that here tbh. Isn’t it also making a mockery of the guy’s religion?

      1. jasmine*

        The views of the creator doesn’t determine whether or not its acceptable to engage with their content, and I wish people would stop acting like it does when it comes to HP.

        There is so much out there created by people and industries in ways that harm people (kpop, the coffee industry, a long list of Hollywood celebrities and directors, many other authors, etc etc) but only in this context do so many folks behave as if everyone must never engage with HP again. It’s one thing to boycott or disengage with something yourself, it’s another thing to insist it’s a moral imperative on everyone.

        1. zinzarin*

          And it’s yet another thing entirely to simply use each instance as another opportunity to point out JKR’s transphobia.

          Go ahead, continue to make HP references all you like. Just accept that people *will* come out of the woodwork to make this point. Pretty much every time.

        2. Avery*

          One difference is, in JKR’s case, she’s literally said that public support of her works is the same as public support for her views, and that people still buying Harry Potter stuff shows that her transphobic views are publicly accepted, just some people aren’t willing to outright say it.
          Also, she’s using her funds gained from merchandise to bankroll transphobic institutions, and she’s far from needing the money at this point anyway.
          There may be other scenarios that are similar, but that’s a far step from, say, supporting the works of H.P. Lovecraft (who is dead and thus can’t promote his bigotry any further) or starving artists (who need the money to live) or various public figures for whom their bigotry is only one facet of their public persona.

  18. RJ*

    This is a great example of HR and upper management doing the right thing and an even better example of what good management should always be. Go OP and I hope Harry continues to be a great worker.

  19. redflagday701*

    This is really wild, given that Crabbe and Goyle sounded like relatively good employees working for a relatively good employer before all of this went down. I mean, maybe the signs were always there; I just don’t get that sense from the original letter. I could get plotting a weird lawsuit the company really sucked, but it seems like they and Snape just made a lot of trouble for themselves by choosing not to be chill for no good reason.

    1. MsSolo (UK)*

      Yeah, there are people making decisions here that clearly have more context to them (than potentially OP knows, as well). I suspect somewhere that’s got a history of discrimination also has a more general history of toxicity, and it’s manifesting in stuff like this. I’d suggest OP keep an eye out for work elsewhere, and be conscious of any habits/survival instincts they bring with them should they move to another employer.

    2. NeutralJanet*

      I mean, the company apparently has a well-known history of Islamophobia–this is likely not OP’s fault, and may not be the fault of anyone else currently working there, if the lawsuits were resolved not long after 9/11, but it could be an indication that there are some deep-seated issues regarding discrimination, harassment, and other unpleasantness.

    3. ecnaseener*

      Sometimes people are just bigoted. Bigots can be good at their work, there doesn’t need to be anything wrong with their work or their employer to explain this.

    1. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

      And that the bullies in this story accused the real-life Wiccan of watching too many movies about witches.

      It’s a little bit in poor taste honestly and I wish everyone weren’t complimenting it considering how the Wiccan guy got mischaracterized in the comments last time around.

  20. Sindy*

    There was some scrambling to adjust to the two office bullies but I’m glad you had your employee’s back OP. I hope he feels secure knowing that you’re willing to go to bat for him and defend him against discriminatory attitudes like this. It’s nice to read a happy ending at this time of year.

  21. Cool Tina, Train Conductress*

    I have to say I was really surprised last time around that everyone reacted as though Harry had lobbed Islamaphobic insults back at his harassers. Even from the initial account it seemed clear that he’d said something like, “I’m really surprised you’d belittle my faith when you’ve had to deal with so much ignorance about yours, I’d expect you to know better.”

  22. Parenthesis Guy*

    Well done. It’s just a shame that people like that can’t be publicly named and shamed. Ideally, this should follow them around.

  23. Ellis Bell*

    Hands up fellow Wiccans and pagans, if you were just waiting for some version of the a “not a real religion” comment? Good Yule and Bright Solstice to you!

    1. NeedRain47*

      what do people think they are saying when they say that?
      Most religions require rejection of every other religion and it’d be kind of weird if they *didn’t* think other peoples’ religions were fake. But I’m not getting the feeling that’s what they mean by “real”.
      I personally think paganism makes more sense than any other religion b/c the solstice is definitely a real thing and I will happily celebrate longer days!

      1. ticktick*

        I think Wicca may suffer more than other religions in that there’s a segment of people (generally younger ones) who self-proclaim themselves as Wiccan because they think it’s a cool, rebellious thing to do, rather than actually bothering to find out what it’s about, and that somewhat tarnishes how seriously others might take it. If my first impression of Wicca had been my one-time flaky roommate, who said she was Wiccan, and celebrated an important Wiccan date by stabbing the ground around a half-dead city tree with a plastic butter knife and then glopping a can of creamed corn around it, I might not have been inclined to take Wicca seriously as a religion either (true story, it was an odd sight to witness).

        1. Ellis Bell*

          Hmm. I dislike when people say they are so lazy that they have built their notions simply by observing random individuals, (as though that’s a reasonable information gathering practice) rather than getting themselves properly informed about the full topic. It’s not that they are obligated to do research; if they don’t feel like bothering, they could simply and openly just accept that they are uninformed? I’ve heard this argument in relation to things like food allergies: “If people didn’t do trendy fad diets then real allergies would be accepted by everyone, even the determinedly uninformed”. No, no they wouldn’t. If people are lazy enough to only reach for the most convenient example then they are too lazy to become well informed in the absence of that (in)convenient example. If they lack curiosity to the point that they can’t listen unjudgingly to a person’s beliefs or needs, then there is no perfect behaviour from the wider group that will create that curiosity for them. Let’s say for example that the manager in this scenario had a flaky Wiccan roommate. The correct response in later years, at work would still be to seek clarification, along the lines of: “I don’t know much about the nature of paganism, having only known one flaky practitioner. What is it all about? What are our responsibilities to this employee?”

          1. Observer*

            “I don’t know much about the nature of paganism, having only known one flaky practitioner. What is it all about? What are our responsibilities to this employee?”

            I would cut that down to “What are our responsibilities?” Because it doesn’t really matter “what it’s all about” (whether it’s paganism, or any other religion that the person doesn’t know anything about). All that matters is whether the person has a “sincerely held” religious belief, their behavior is consistent with the belief they espouse, and any necessary accommodations are reasonable for the employer.

        2. NeedRain47*

          LOL at creamed corn… I see what you’re saying tho. The fact that wicca has fewer standardized rituals doesn’t make it less or more “real.”

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            I can even sort of understand the ritual performed:
            * Plastic knife – because people freak out about real ones in public
            * City tree – person lives in an apartment, so has to borrow a piece of nature from the city
            * Stab the ground – an approximation of tilling the soil
            * Creamed corn – a symbol of Lammas that is cheap and readily available

            It’s very much “Wiccan on a Budget”, which means a lot of improvisation to perform any of the regular rites. Since it’s the intent that makes it real, not the cheap trappings or borrowed location, it works just fine.

            1. Ellis Bell*

              The symbolism of the tree is pretty obvious; I also picked up on the tilling and I imagine a circle was used, either in a proactive direction, or widdershins.

        3. Noodles*

          I mean yes, this happens with teens because they think it’s cool, but that rebellion against organized religion/patriarchy/authoritarianism seems to be a stereotypically teenager step on a pretty sensible pathway, to me. I think it’s a naive and self-exploratory way to start thinking about important issues, rather than to stop thinking about them.
          LOL @ the creamed corn, though.

      2. Ellis Bell*

        It means that they define everything in comparison to Christianity as the”real” religion, and paganism has very little in common with which to be considered “real”. So, this type of person will accept some similar elements of the monotheist religions; such as that they worship one god and that they have the commandments. But they’ll be very scathing and uninformed about anything different; I had a colleague get a dressing down for not taking the “proper calendered day” to celebrate Eid from her agency (our actual workplace were fine with it). When she corrected the agency that Eid wasn’t on the standard calender; it was actually a lunar holy day, she heard: “Yes, but you have to take the ‘real’ day according to the calendar, which I Googled”. Actually the elements of pagan worship which are similar to Christianity have been so well appropriated that they are especially not recognised as a different religion. So, if we say we celebrate Ostara and Yule, this type of person will say those celebrations are just “secular” Easter and Christmas, and have nothing religious about them at all.

        1. Observer*

          All my sympathy!

          The inability and / or unwillingness of people to deal with the concept of DIFFERENT calendars is just astonishing. And infuriating when people make your life harder than it needs to be because of this stupidity.

          Was your colleague able to get this worked out?

    2. Witch@Work*

      ahahhah omg yeah.
      i was SO (not) waiting for it this year too!
      Anyways, Merry Yule to y’all from this lil’ Witch here.

    1. metadata minion*

      In a healthy work environment, you should be able to talk about your religion in a surface-level way (e.g. “oh, yeah, we’re frying All The Things this weekend for Hannukah!) without it causing drama, and many people *have* to mention their religion to get accomodations for things like food restrictions or time off for holidays.

  24. anoncat*

    Come on, she’s not just “not pro-trans”. She’s actively directing hate toward trans people and is part of a wave of transphobia in the UK media that is negatively impacting trans healthcare.

  25. Ask a Manager* Post author

    I appreciate the issues with JKR’s transphobia being flagged but this is not the site for more extensive exploration of the problems with her/her work/her actions (nor can I moderate it at the moment). So I ask that people interested in continuing to discuss this update move on from the discussion generated by the LW’s choice of names. Thank you.

  26. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

    This was a very satisfying update!! Pagan here and yes, I’ve heard the “not real” argument before. Most holiday traditions and religions had to start somewhere and “made up” probably covers a large majority of them. A few years ago a little boy told his mom a story that got turned into the holiday of Wolfenoot. (November 23rd) It celebrates the Great Wolf General. And is celebrated by eating roast meats, being kind to dogs, and hiding presents around the house. The year it was invented was a super moon. Next year it just happens to fall on Thanksgiving. I am already looking forward to having a steak on Wolfenoot instead of a turkey for Thanksgiving

  27. Jonaessa*

    You did tell us it would be a rollercoaster, but you did not make sure my seatbelt was properly fastened. Wow! What a crazy update! Props to an HR department that looks out for the employees while also protecting the company. I feel like those are rare.

  28. Coffee Bean*

    But OP didn’t ignore the situation. It was addressed, and OP had discussions with all three employees along with HR. Had OP been ignoring the situation, a likely outcome is that Harry would have quit, and the two other employees would have stayed and potentially caused more issues. I cannot see anything substantiative in OP’s posts to support the idea that they ignored the situation.

  29. Just Me*

    This is really upsetting. The biggest thing I have found at work is that while systemic racism/sexism/homophobia/Islamophobia/antisemitism is very real, very serious, and can put certain employees at risk for discrimination in the workplace, people have intersecting identities and ultimately anyone can harass anyone, and all harassment claims need to be thoroughly investigated right away.

  30. Michelle Smith*

    Thank you very much for not perpetuating the religious bigotry displayed by those two team members and that manager. It is entirely inappropriate to disparage ANYONE’S religion at work!!! It’s mind boggling to me that anyone would think differently (but then again I have spent most of my professional career in a city of millions with all kinds of religions, cultures, etc. so I’m used to diversity being both protected down to the city ordinance level and celebrated strongly). As an atheist, I have my own feelings on the veracity of many religious claims, but I certainly would never mock someone at work because they believe in a god I don’t or have spiritual practices I don’t share. I’m just shocked. You handled this exceptionally well after writing in, so kudos to you.

    1. Observer*

      but then again I have spent most of my professional career in a city of millions with all kinds of religions, cultures, etc. so I’m used to diversity being both protected down to the city ordinance level and celebrated strongly

      I hate to burst your bubble, but just a city’s population is large and diverse, it doesn’t mean that diversity is so well protected and celebrated.

      I live and work in NYC, and I’ve seen a thing or two. And I’ve met people like Snape in positions of authority. And it’s not just Islamophobia.

      1. TomatoSoup*

        Former resident of both SF and NYC. Having city level protections, a diverse population, and even a generally more socially liberal culture is *helpful* but it’s not a full preventative. I’ve seen people like Snape in both places.

  31. I’d rather not this time*

    At a time when my own employer is having some DEI failures around faith/religion this holiday season, this update did my Pagan heart a whole lot of good.

  32. Quickbeam*

    Not sure where my post went but to repeat….the Lady Liberty League out of CircleSanctuary.org fights work place discrimination based upon pagan beliefs. They were super helpful to me when I got lots of push back for leaving *an hour early* once a month for Full Moon celebrations. This same company hand waved anything a pastors wife wanted off or anything vaguely Christian. You just can’t cater to one group and deny others the same rights.

Comments are closed.