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#1 PetBone

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 10:40 PM

I am curious to know about any company that is currently SQF certified and what your boundaries are in regards to religious attire. We are looking to be SQF certified in 2015 and are looking to tighten up our policies. For GMP's we currently say no jewelry except a plain wedding band. However we have people wearing necklaces that are for their religious beliefs. This would be the same for head wraps (hijabs). Can you allow things like that for religious reasons and still be in compliance with SQF code for certification? 


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#2 Snookie

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:28 AM

This crazy conversation may be of some help.

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...-cleaner/page-2


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#3 mamad123

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:11 AM

hi

i guarantee that this talk will be complicated

well, in my country wearing hijab while working inside process room is not a concern because the uniform completely covered it.

 

thats my thought

 CMIIW


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#4 PetBone

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:28 PM

Definitely a sticky situation to walk through as we want to have 1 set of rules for all employees but we have run into the situations above and we are trying to figure out the best way to handle them and still be in good standing with complying with all regulations.


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#5 cazyncymru

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 03:37 PM

It is a difficult situation, because where do you stop???

 

Caz x


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#6 PetBone

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 03:52 PM

It is a difficult situation, because where do you stop???

 

Caz x

 

Yes for the most part. I mean it seems as anything could be used to bend the original rule based on religious views. Having 1 rule applying to all is easy to manage but once you start adding exceptions for this and that it becomes more difficult to manage and then you start running in to "it's not fair that someone can wear this" etc


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#7 MWidra

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:23 PM

You can add the medical information jewelry to this discussion.  It only is of concern for me where I work because I wear a Medic Alert item, and it is pretty important that I wear it.  So far I'm the only person who wears this. 

 

The chains on the medical information necklaces must be long enough to fit over a head, so there is a decent chance that they can come off if someone bends over a lot.  I tried a necklace but went back to the bracelet, which has a locking latch (takes 2 people to open it, so I know it will not fall off.)  I cover it with a special sweat band with the Medic Alert logo on it, so that paramedics would know about it.  It's not optimal, but the only solution that I could come up with.

 

These considerations are civil rights issues just like religious issues, but in the US it is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that is involved.

 

I think that some of the things to consider when making rules are:

  1. Is this something that is a personal expression of their religion, or germane to the practice of the religion?
  2. Is it mandated by the religion?
  3. Is there a compromise that will satisfy the religious views but maintain GMP?

 

Martha


Edited by MWidra, 26 November 2014 - 04:24 PM.

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#8 fgjuadi

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:52 PM

Just a thought - I've previously worked in a comapny that required people who wanted Saturdays off for religious purposes to  bring in a note from their religious counsel.  You could do the same with religious jewelery. The pastor / rabbi / spaghetti monster will sometimes help guide the employee


Edited by magenta_majors, 26 November 2014 - 04:53 PM.

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#9 cazyncymru

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:14 PM

Ah but then, from a food safety perspective, Hindi women can wear a glass bangle in lieu of a wedding band!


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#10 Setanta

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:18 PM

No Jewelry. Medical alerts only, then and I would really rather have you wear the sweat band and keep the bracelet in your pocket. One "Except..." and you'll never stop


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#11 MWidra

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:14 PM

No Jewelry. Medical alerts only, then and I would really rather have you wear the sweat band and keep the bracelet in your pocket. One "Except..." and you'll never stop

If the worker is using the bracelet from Medic Alert, it is almost impossible to take it off and on a lot.  It locks together, and it can only be removed by another person.  Even then, it's a royal pain.  But, that bracelet will never come off on its own.  Those from other sources may not be as secure.

 

To get the sweat band from Medic Alert, you have to be using their service.  I'm not sure if others are available.

 

Just like everything else, this and the religious items question would need to have a risk analysis performed.

 

Martha


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#12 Setanta

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:48 PM

I would have plain safety issues (aside from food safety) for anyone in our facility wearing a bracelet.  Too easily hung up on moving equipment.  If it is that hard to remove...<shudder>


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#13 MWidra

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:11 PM

I would have plain safety issues (aside from food safety) for anyone in our facility wearing a bracelet.  Too easily hung up on moving equipment.  If it is that hard to remove...<shudder>

Yes, that is the quandary that it brings to safety.  Yet, not having that information immediately available to EMT personnel when the person is taking anticoagulants (which is my issue), could be fatal for the victim.  And, there's the ADA issue that needs to be considered.

 

This is why safety officers should LOVE engineering controls, because the hands/bracelets don't get near the moving parts.  Sometimes it is not possible, but it's the best way to go.

 

Martha


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#14 PetBone

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:17 PM

I am not concerned about the medical alerts as the code/regulations even allow for that. However there is nothing in the code/regulations that advices on the religious attire/jewelry. :headhurts: I was concerned about complying Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C and FDA/SQF.


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#15 Setanta

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:26 PM

If you are considering allowing someone to wera jewelry for religious reasons, you will need to do a risk analysis.  You will need to figure out how much risk a necklace might proof to be to your process.  Then you can show SQF, this is what we did to allow the wearing of jewelry.

 

I don't know of any religion that states a piece of jewelry must be worn.  That doesn't mean that there isn't one out there, I am just not aware of it.

 

SQF states in 11.3.4  

Jewelry and other loose objects shall not be worn or taken into a food handling or processing operation or any area where food is exposed. The wearing of plain bands with no stones and medical alert bracelets that cannot be removed can be permitted, however the supplier will need to consider their customer requirements and the applicable food legislation.


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#16 AANNFF

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 07:45 PM

We allow for jewelry if it is needed for religious or medical reasons.  They must not contain jewels or anything that could easily fall off.  We've had a case where one person chose to take the jewel off (outside of production) her ring rather than getting a different ring.  Once you come up with your rule, make sure to contact SQF and ask to have your exception approved.  That way if an auditor gives you a hard time, you have proof that the people at SQF know about it and approved the modification to the rule.


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#17 Nirbhay Pampaniya

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 07:08 AM

it really is a big problem.

 

I'd suggest that, You can enlarge the size of mouth guard up to the neck so that it cover the necklace. Then, keep a record of all those workers who comes for work wearing that necklaces.

 

By the end of the day (while they are leaving) you can re-count the women with necklaces.

 

*It's is not easy to control, but good thing is that you can always monitor it.

 

 

Thanks


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#18 Tony-C

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 06:57 PM

I wouldn't allow any attire for religious purposes and that should be stipulated in the employment contract.

 

Then there is no argument.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#19 MWidra

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 07:19 PM

I wouldn't allow any attire for religious purposes and that should be stipulated in the employment contract.

 

Very few companies in the US have employment contracts for most workers, they are normally used for high salaried managers.  For here, someone would need to include that information in the job requirements that are presented to the potential employee, like is done for the dress code and for the normal duties.  It is prudent to mention it at the time of the interview or before, just so you don't waste time training someone and have them leave because of that policy.

 

Martha


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"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

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#20 Tony-C

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 07:35 PM

Than

 

Very few companies in the US have employment contracts for most workers, they are normally used for high salaried managers. 

 

Martha

 

Thank you for that Martha,

 

So if you employ someone do you not write to them and confirm that they are employed and the terms of their employment in writing?

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#21 MWidra

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:00 PM

Than

 

 

Thank you for that Martha,

 

So if you employ someone do you not write to them and confirm that they are employed and the terms of their employment in writing?

 

Regards,

 

Tony

Tony, many times an employer will send a letter/email making an offer which states what will be paid and the starting date.  I did not for this job, it was totally an oral offer.  Something in writing that details all the terms of employment is not common except for large corporations.  Lots of small companies do not have employee manuals, and if they do, it is clearly stated in several areas that this is not an employment contract.  Companies are scared of being sued if a worker thinks that a contract has not been fulfilled.

 

Union members have written contracts at a production level, but it's not the norm here.

 

Actually, the oral agreement and terms that are set forth in the interview/job description is a binding contract of employment, but most states have laws stating that employment is at-will.  The contract can be terminated at any time by either party with no ramifications.  People can and do quit with no notice here.  People who are higher in management are usually barred from leaving at the drop of a hat and have employment contracts, but they also get benefits if the company terminates the contract.

 

I think I'm stating it all correctly, employment law in the US is complicated.

 

Martha


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#22 Setanta

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:05 PM

But most employees go through some kind of orientation, tax paperwork is filled out, insurance, etc.  This can be covered then in the GMPs before they even walk onto the production floor.


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#23 Tony-C

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:15 PM

Thank you for the explanation Martha,

 

That needs to change.....and I'm sure it will, hopefully sooner rather than later.

 

Termination of employment is painful and has happened to me a few times in the same timescale but I'm not a 'Yes' Man :bye: so probably not surprising.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#24 MWidra

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:26 PM

But most employees go through some kind of orientation, tax paperwork is filled out, insurance, etc.  This can be covered then in the GMPs before they even walk onto the production floor.

Agreed.  I cover it all in the orientation HACCP training.

 

Martha


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"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

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#25 Tony-C

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:42 PM

Agreed.  I cover it all in the orientation HACCP training.

 

Martha

 

Is that legally binding? Do the trainees sign to say they agree to comply?

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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