Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Religious Freedom Vs. Diversity


Recently, a federal worker gained headline prominence for his refusal to watch an LGBT training video as part of the Social Security Administration's LGBT diversity and inclusivity training.

The employee, David Hall, who has worked with the SSA for the past 14 years, is now at risk of losing his job in information technology at the agency’s office in Champaign, Ill, a report by The Washington Post said.

The Chicago-area Social Security office explained in a statement that their diversity and inclusion initiative “includes a brief session on tips for increasing cultural awareness in a diverse and inclusive environment.”

But for David Hall, who professes to be a Christian, he believes God does not want him to watch the video, and doing so is tantamount to endorsing it which, according to him is “an abomination,” and “I’m not going to certify sin.”

This is just another example of the ongoing conflict between religious freedom and diversity: liberals/liberal-minded faith groups vs. conservatives/strictly-adhering faith individuals/groups and institutions; the Left vs. the Right of the political spectrum.

The First Amendment is invoked by Christians and members of other religions who uphold their religious freedom. Employees, business owners and religious institutions find themselves having to defend their religious beliefs and practices, when their faith values are compromised by company policies and federal/state laws. So they cry persecution and/or loss of autonomy.

While those advocating for equality, the inclusion of LGBTs in the workplace and giving them just accommodation, cry discrimination, when for example, a Christian business owner refuses to cater to a same-sex couple, or when religious-run institutions fire employees who are LGBTs, and are in a same-sex relationship/marriage.

Thus, caught in this continuing battle – between the freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs and practices, and the promotion of equality and fairness for all, without discrimination – is diversity.

The United States is not the only country facing this clash between two rights: the right to religious freedom, and the right to equality and fairness. The United Kingdom, Australia and Canada are some of the countries that also struggle to find a balanced resolution to this divisive issue.

This brings us to the question of how can diversity be working in a society wherein advocates of freedom of religion and of diversity do not see eye to eye, and refuse to see each side with openness and tolerance?

Just to establish context, the Law is not meant to persecute anyone; rather, these are meant to establish law and order in society, to protect people's lives, properties and human rights, and to resolve conflicts. Laws are not meant to favor a particular individual or group because the rule of law applies to every citizen. The problem, however, arises from different interpretions of the law, and how it should be implemented. One point of contention is to what extent should the laws be applied.

This becomes particularly challenging when the issue brought forth is which should get the upper hand, religious freedom or the right to non-discrimination.

For example, the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) is a federal law which “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.”
Even then, there is an exemption to this protection, when 2 provisions are met. First, the burden must be necessary for the "furtherance of a compelling government interest." Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues. The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.

This article that appeared on the Harvard International Law Journal presents some key principles that can help determine when it is appropriate for exemptions to non-discrimination laws to be given to religious organizations – whether in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and other countries facing such conflict.

The argument in the above-article is that neither non-discrimination nor religious autonomy should always be the dominant value in deciding on conflicts between these internationally protected rights.
Thus, the principles presented can serve as guidelines to deal with such tension. The authors of the study state: In the process of reconciling non-discrimination and freedom of religion it is important to hear the views both of those who seek to preserve traditions, and of those who bear the costs of such traditions and may seek protection.

That point is well-taken; however, what seems to be missing from the side of religious freedom – in relation to how faith groups/religion-motivated individuals view LGBTs - are the elements of compassion and tolerance.

Hence, many gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders remain closeted, for fear of harassment, discrimination, being fired from work or denied equal opportunities for employment – all because of their sexual orientation/identity and/or lifestyle.

Tolerance does not necessarily mean supporting the same beliefs, but in this context, it calls for the practice of Charity.

Although it is within the rights of a devout Christian business owner compelled by his/her faith to deny service to a gay or lesbian, but as we come to think of it, we see that very act of denying someone goes against the very principles the Christian faith espouses – acceptance and love of neighbor.

The Christian faith for one denounces self-righteousness.

This should be something worth reflecting on especially by religious institutions/employers, when faced with the moral dilemma of having to accept or deny an LGBT for a certain position, or firing an LGBT.
Which carries greater moral weight – following strictly to the letter the teachings of one's religion/Church, and denying someone the very means to his/her livelihood, or living out the principle of being good neighbors to others, of being a good Samaritan?

It is all about giving space to the other to be what he/she is, by virtue of mutual respect and undertanding. Diversity does not say you give up your religious beliefs; rather, it is asking people to be more tolerant and welcoming, and less judgmental.

The laws indeed exists for good reasons, but somewhere in the very fabric of society lies the heart that sees beyond dogmas and rules.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Office Depot Hiring a Retail Operations Manager Trainee, Manhattan Beach, CA


Office Depot, is hiring a Retail Operations Manager Trainee, Manhattan Beach, CA. Office Depot is a global supplier of office products and services, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member.

Job Overview: The Operations Manager Trainee is responsible for freight and logistics activities within the store.

Job Duties and Responsibilities (among others)
  • The will partner with the Store Manager and Assistant Store Manager to provide guidance to Logistics associates by facilitating some training; providing positive and constructive feedback, and the appropriate level of coaching required from a Lead.
  • In partnership with the management team, S/he will also maintain loss prevention compliance, store visual and merchandising standards.
Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • High School diploma or equivalent experience, Bachelor's degree preferred
Company Benefits
  • Competitive salary, a benefits package, which includes a 401(k) and more, along with plenty of opportunity to move and grow within the organization
For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.



Office Depot Hiring an Associate Warehouse, Weston, FL


Office Depot, a global supplier of office products and services, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member, is hiring an Associate Warehouse, Weston, FL.

Job Overview: This position is responsible for daily customer order fulfillment activities within an assigned area(s) of a distribution facility, as well as for demonstrating safety and operational expertise within a quality and productivity driven environment.

Job Duties and Responsibilities (among others)
  • Perform one or more distribution-related functions that allow, as the business requires, assignment across various functions such as checking, picking, packing, replenishment, bin/bulk order fill, bin/bulk stocking, shipping, receiving/returns, sorting, or loading (as applicable to operation).
  • Contribute to a safe work environment through continuous focus on housekeeping and safety.
Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • High school diploma or equivalent education preferred
  • Basic ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing, using the English language
  • Basic math skills (counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication)
  • Basic computer skills (accessing and navigating the internet; familiar with the keyboard; opening, closing and saving documents)
  • Ability to lift a minimum of 70 pounds regularly, up to 150 pounds infrequently
Company Benefits
  • Competitive salary, a benefits package, which includes a 401(k) and more, along with plenty of opportunity to move and grow within the organization
For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.



Office Depot Job Opening for Retail Operations Manager, Waco, TX



Office Depot, a global supplier of office products and services, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member, has a job opening for Retail Operations Manager, Waco, TX.

Job Overview: The successful candidate will be responsible for freight and logistics activities within the store.

Job Duties and Responsibilities (among others)
  • This person will partner with the Store Manager and Assistant Store Manager to provide guidance to Logistics associates by facilitating some training; providing positive and constructive feedback, and the appropriate level of coaching required from a Lead.
Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • High School diploma or equivalent experience, Bachelor's degree preferred
  • Minimum two years of experience in retail, supervisory experience in a sales driven customer oriented environment
  • Previous knowledge of safety regulations
  • Experience with Logistics and Freight
  • Advanced selling skills
  • Must be able to effectively lead and coach others in a professional environment
  • Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
Company Benefits
  • Competitive salary, a benefits package, which includes a 401(k) and more, along with plenty of opportunity to move and grow within the organization
For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.



Job Opening for Retail Sales Consultant (Seasonal) Munhall PA, at Office Depot


A job opening for Retail Sales Consultant, (Seasonal) Munhall, PA, is available at the Office Depot, a global supplier of office products and services, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member.

Job Overview: This is a temporary role that is responsible for engaging and providing an exceptional customer service experience during peak seasonal selling periods.

Job Duties and Responsibilities (among others)
  • Must quickly build customer relationships and become an advisor by utilizing selling skills and knowledge
  • While this position is generally focused on sales floor customer support, as a seasonal associate, they may also be assigned to front-end cashiering support, merchandise stocking duties, and/or copy and print area customers service support.
Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • Must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, which are necessary to establish a selling relationship with customers
  • Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must possess the ability to use technology applicable to role, and to access information necessary to complete daily responsibilities
  • Must possess ability to process information/merchandise through POS register system
  • Must possess an interest in continually developing personal selling skills and product knowledge
Company Benefits
  • Competitive salary, a benefits package, which includes a 401(k) and more, along with plenty of opportunity to move and grow within the organization
For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.



PCOII White City, OR Opens for Hiring at Carestream


The position for PCOII (Production ConvertingOperatorII) White City, OR, is open for hiring at Carestream Health, a worldwide provider of medical and dental imaging systems and IT solutions; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and advanced materials for the precision films and electronics markets, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member.

Job Overview and Responsibilities (among others)
  • Makes decisions within a high performance team environment
  • Seeks opportunities to help others in/out of department during slack time
  • Demonstrates ownership of responsibilities
  • Troubleshoots machine and quality issues
  • Able to perform and prioritize multiple tasks
  • Able to meet Output/productivity needs
  • Trains in skills and job functions (operations/team) with recertification bi-annually

Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • Ability to work 12 hour shift on your feet, with a flexible schedule and willingness to work overtime when needed.
  • Able to troubleshoot production issues in a complex and fast-paced environment.
  • Possess basic aptitudes in the following skills: math, and computers.
  • Possess knowledge of interpersonal communication skills to provide support of and input for team decisions.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds repetitively for short durations

For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Job Opening for HCIS Project Manager, Virtual at Carestream



A job opening for HCIS Project Manager, Virtual is available at Carestream Health, a worldwide provider of medical and dental imaging systems and IT solutions; X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing; and advanced materials for the precision films and electronics markets, and DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company member.

Job Overview: Oversee and manage the delivery of HCIS products and services for assigned customers. Manage all aspects (budget, quality, forecasting, project team resources etc.) of RIS/PACS projects in an IT healthcare environment.

Job Qualifications/Requirements (among others)
  • Bachelor degree in Computer Science, Business, Radiology (Allied Health) or 5 years equivalent work experience
  • 5+ experience with healthcare project management
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office including Project, Excel, etc.
  • Experience working with director level and executive level leadership at customer sites
  • Development of project plans

For more details about this job and to apply for it, click on this link.