Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

Religious Exemptions in Jewelry and Clothing.


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

Poll: Religious Exeptions (29 member(s) have cast votes)

Does your location allow exemptions for clothing / jewelry with or without written policy?

  1. Yes we have certain exemptions for religious needs. (13 votes [44.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.83%

  2. No we do not exempt religious paraphanalia due to food safety concerns. (11 votes [37.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.93%

  3. We allow our rabbi to wear his yarmulke but that is the only exemption. (3 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

  4. I don't know. (1 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

  5. I have to describe below. (1 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Mr. Incognito

Mr. Incognito

    "Mostly Harmless"

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,567 posts
  • 270 thanks
127
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:51 AM

{Disclaimer} As religion can be one of those touchy subjects if you are extremely touchy on it... please feel free to reload the forum home page.  I am more that slightly nervous at the possibilities at bringing this topic up but I think it would be good to hear what is going on nationally and internationally on this topic:

After an interesting conversation: http://www.ifsqn.com...ery-exemptions/ I started to wonder what kinds of things people have done or had to do at their locations due to the diversity of religious beliefs.  It reminded me of a situation where a high school in the US kicked out a boy scout for having his survival knife in his car but there are similar places that allow Sikh children to bring their Kirpan (or ceremonial dagger which in the last 3 minutes have learned a lot about off the page where I got the name of it from: http://worldsikh.ca/...standing-kirpan). Yes I know that's a different situation but it's along the same line.

 

So if your so inclined I'd like to hear the types of things that you may, or may not, have decided to allow due to religious beliefs in relation to food safety.  If your not so inclined that's fine but the poll is anonymous.  Obviously different food categories have different inherent risk so not one size may fit all.

 


____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Incognito


:tardis:

Mr. Incognito is a cool frood who can travel the width and breadth of the galaxy and still know where his towel is.

#2 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 03 June 2014 - 04:14 PM

Leave it to Mr. I to go where angels fear to tread.   :eek_yello:  Although I don't think it should be that way.  Healthy discussion with the ability to agree to disagree is too often not welcomed, or respected enough.  That being said:

 

One of the fundamental, foundational cornerstones of this country is religious freedom, and whatever you believe should be respected.  However, that being said, it does not  IMHO mean we impose it on others or endanger food safety or because of it.  If a reasonable accommodation can be made, I will make every effort to do so and support it, but if it can't then our environment is not suited and another location or position may be better.   

 

Unlike the situation with the boy scout and the knife in the car.....common sense should prevail. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#3 Mr. Incognito

Mr. Incognito

    "Mostly Harmless"

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,567 posts
  • 270 thanks
127
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2014 - 04:34 PM

Lol.  I'm not afraid to bring something up... if Simon :doh: thumps me for it so be it... I'll be like this :oops2: .  But seriously this wasn't really meant to be a conversation of "Should we" rather than "what do we do (or not do) and why".  But I love a good discussion on anything while trying to be polite and not upset anyone.

 

Like I said in the other topic I haven't had as much exposure with things other people have experienced and that may be because of where I'm located... I'm not sure.  I know Scranton PA had a large Jewish population (at least where I lived in "The Hills" and if I was there I suspect I would have experienced Jewish people working in food.

 

I can understand a mindset of "No Exceptions" but I don't know how plausible that is in reality.  I never knew that Jewish women wear wigs to cover their hair.  When I was reading up on the yarmulke for the other post I did see a little blurb about women covering up their hair and why... but I didn't realize how they do that (in some instances)

 

For another instance is Muslims and prayer. I remember walking through the Souq, in Manama Bahrain, and hearing the call to prayer at certain times of the day... and to be honest I had to look this up because I wasn't sure.  But at one of my jobs we worked 7am to 7pm.  That could impact 3 of their prayer times Fajr (pre-dawn), Dhuhr (noon), and 'Asr (afternoon).  You wouldn't tell them they just blew all their breaks would you (don't answer this question if the answer is yes lol)?  However having some of your people who have to leave 6 times, rather than 3, during work could cause a strain on the rest of the production and could easily cause a risk to food safety (checks not being done on time, things being missed, etc.).

 

There are a lot of what if's of course I know.  But, as George Carlin said in "You're all Diseased", "These are the things that kept me out of the really good schools."  And partly the reason why is that I was curious on what people have encountered and what they did as a result of the situation.  I think there is a good chance for people to learn something out of this conversation and give them ideas for the future if they run into a similar situation.

 

Or.. I'm crazy :happydance:


____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Incognito


:tardis:

Mr. Incognito is a cool frood who can travel the width and breadth of the galaxy and still know where his towel is.

#4 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:32 PM

Well you are crazy...but the best people are in my opinion.   I agree discussion is important and you have made very good points.  I agree with you that No exceptions can be difficult in reality.  I really enjoy these types of conversations. Until Simon thumps....I say keep it up. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#5 fgjuadi

fgjuadi

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 898 posts
  • 200 thanks
25
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:59 PM

I don't understnad why this topic would be taboo?  There's a lot of stuff that happens in religion that affects food safety.

 

How's this for a religious exemption -

 

Another chocolate company owns shareholder stock in our company, and their factory is on the east coast.  The owners are devout Orthodox Jewish, and they have a prayer room that only MEN can enter.  They hold services there regularaly, and as such are exempt from certain tax codes.   They also have two kitchens, one for dairy and one for meat, which is a pretty nice set up and I'm a little jealous. 

 

Their female QA Manager can not enter the prayer room!  Who knows what's in there.  No chekcing pest contorl traps, storage conditoins, etc.  It is separated from the production facility with a wall, but, I'd be extra mad if I couldn't enter an area on the premesis ever due to some god thinking less of my gender. Though the company would loose tons of $$ in lost tax loop holes (maybe?)

 

We allow our jewish employees to wear their wigs/ head coverings, we allow our buddists to wear their mourning braclets, we allow our muslims to wear their head coverings, and we allow our athiests to not wear anything reliigous at all.  We do not allow christians/catholics to wear their cross necklaces. Basically, we won't send anyone to hell, but we won't allow religous stuff if it isn't *mandated* by the religion.

 

I've worked in places with religious employees and no place to prey, so they preyed in the bathroom, which was extra annoying for me. 


.--. .- -. - ... / --- .--. - .. --- -. .- .-..

#6 Mr. Incognito

Mr. Incognito

    "Mostly Harmless"

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,567 posts
  • 270 thanks
127
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:13 AM

I wouldn't say it is Taboo but we do have, probably, every major and many "minor" (major and minor by population of course) religions represented here so obviously we have to make sure we are respectful to each other.

 

That is interesting that they wouldn't allow the QA manager in to the prayer room at all however if she had a male QA Tech she wouldn't have to but I've seen similar circumstances in Bahrain where a vendor would not sell a woman a piece of jewelry. The man she was with had to take her money and pay for it.  Cultural and religious differences are interesting to see and experience.

 

The article from Canada I saw about the Sikh ceremonial dagger said pretty much the same thing that you did just in different words.  The dagger was allowed in government buildings because they are required to wear it at all times even sleeping.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Incognito


:tardis:

Mr. Incognito is a cool frood who can travel the width and breadth of the galaxy and still know where his towel is.

#7 it_rains_inside

it_rains_inside

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 341 posts
  • 96 thanks
46
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:34 PM

I also am interested in seeing what the masses think on this. We had an instance just this summer and I had no idea what to say or do!!  I think that different countries may have different laws about what can/ cannot be done concerning issues on this subject.  I consulted the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission) for what to do with my situation. Ultimately we are a private business and were concerned with the safety of our employees as well as the standardization of practices and policies while individuals are in the facility. Although this did prompt a discussion about making Mini-skirts part of the uniform here   :giggle: 

 

Religious Accommodation/Dress & Grooming Policies

Unless it would be an undue hardship on the employer's operation of its business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices. This applies not only to schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to such things as dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons. These might include, for example, wearing particular head coverings or other religious dress (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim headscarf), or wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). It also includes an employee's observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (such as pants or miniskirts).

When an employee or applicant needs a dress or grooming accommodation for religious reasons, he should notify the employer that he needs such an accommodation for religious reasons. If the employer reasonably needs more information, the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to discuss the request. If it would not pose an undue hardship, the employer must grant the accommodation.

Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation & Undue Hardship

An employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if it is costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

                                -Wayne W. Dyer

 


Thanked by 1 Member:

#8 it_rains_inside

it_rains_inside

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 341 posts
  • 96 thanks
46
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:44 PM

Their female QA Manager can not enter the prayer room!  Who knows what's in there.  No chekcing pest contorl traps, storage conditoins, etc.  It is separated from the production facility with a wall, but, I'd be extra mad if I couldn't enter an area on the premesis ever due to some god thinking less of my gender. 

 

 

 and we allow our athiests to not wear anything reliigous at all.  

 

Magenta,

I'd be extra mad too!! What gives? What happens if they get a female auditor??? Is that room off limits?

 

And i literally lol-ed that you "allow" the atheists to not wear anything religious. hehe!


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

                                -Wayne W. Dyer

 


#9 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:56 PM

Their female QA Manager can not enter the prayer room!  Who knows what's in there.  No chekcing pest contorl traps, storage conditoins, etc.  It is separated from the production facility with a wall, but, I'd be extra mad if I couldn't enter an area on the premesis ever due to some god thinking less of my gender. Though the company would loose tons of $$ in lost tax loop holes (maybe?)

 

While it may have a wall separating it from production it still should be inspected.  Pest control is critical.  Perhaps a male QA tech? 

 

While not Jewish my understanding of the separate places is that it is seen as time of prayer and that opposite sex can be distracting so the idea is that each sex has its own space so their attention is on God not the hunk or the cutie in the corner.  Though think there just as many distractions having nothing to do with gender. 


Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

#10 Mr. Incognito

Mr. Incognito

    "Mostly Harmless"

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,567 posts
  • 270 thanks
127
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:05 PM

 their attention is on God not the hunk or the cutie in the corner. 

 

Maybe that's what I was doing wrong all those years I went to church... lol (the cutie not the hunk....) (deleting further jokes before I type them)

 

 

I also am interested in seeing what the masses think on this. We had an instance just this summer and I had no idea what to say or do!!  I think that different countries may have different laws about what can/ cannot be done concerning issues on this subject.  I consulted the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission) for what to do with my situation. Ultimately we are a private business and were concerned with the safety of our employees as well as the standardization of practices and policies while individuals are in the facility. Although this did prompt a discussion about making Mini-skirts part of the uniform here   :giggle: 

 

Religious Accommodation/Dress & Grooming Policies

Unless it would be an undue hardship on the employer's operation of its business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices. This applies not only to schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to such things as dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons. These might include, for example, wearing particular head coverings or other religious dress (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim headscarf), or wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). It also includes an employee's observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (such as pants or miniskirts).

When an employee or applicant needs a dress or grooming accommodation for religious reasons, he should notify the employer that he needs such an accommodation for religious reasons. If the employer reasonably needs more information, the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to discuss the request. If it would not pose an undue hardship, the employer must grant the accommodation.

Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation & Undue Hardship

An employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if it is costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.

 

That's a pretty good explanation of what, I would assume, is the best answer one could hope for in the United States.  Though with everything else the idea of "undue hardship" may be something hard to justify if you ended up in court because you required someone to remove something for safety reasons...

 

And that "no idea what to say or do" comment is exactly why I decided to start this thread.  Not everyone has had to deal with these types of circumstances so it's good to hear experiences and policies so you have an idea what to do if it comes up in your facility in the future.

 

(this may even be the most thought provoking thread I've ever had here lol)


Edited by Mr. Incognito, 04 June 2014 - 06:06 PM.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Incognito


:tardis:

Mr. Incognito is a cool frood who can travel the width and breadth of the galaxy and still know where his towel is.

#11 Simon

Simon

    IFSQN...it's My Life

  • IFSQN Admin
  • 12,452 posts
  • 1312 thanks
679
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester
  • Interests:Married to Michelle, Father of three boys (Oliver, Jacob and Louis). I enjoy cycling, walking and travelling, watching sport, especially football and Manchester United. Oh and I love food and beer and wine.

Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:01 PM

No subject is taboo,  This is a real issue that many members face and we need practical solutions, so bravo for bringing it up.

 

I would say that whenever there are two opposing needs such as this first we need to establish if the needs are really justified.

We need to investigate "the need" by examining what it says in the standard and in the religious text.

 

From the company point of view:

1. We have a policy that say's no jewelry except plain wedding band

2. Why do we have that policy?  It's a requirement of standards and customers, which we must obey

3. If we don't we could lose standards, customers etc.

4. People may lose their jobs

 

From the employee point of view:

 

1. I've been a practising xxxxxxxx all my life and I have to wear this particular piece of religious jewelry

2. I've worked here for 20 years and have always worn this item of jewelry without problems such as contamination, customer complaints etc.

3. You are breaching my human rights and if I am forced to remove it I will have to leave this job

4. I sue you for constructive dismissal.

 

3 and 4 are both undesirable, so what to do.

 

Every case is unique and should consider (amongst other things)

 

- the religion/the religious law

- persons job (high risk/low risk)

- the type of jewelry (position/style, potential to contaminate)

- previous problems

- can we substitute the jewelry item for a less hazardous one

- can it be kept clean

- can we cover it with a blue dressing

- can we account for it daily with a daily record

- can we take a photo of it and put it on a form as an exemption

 

All of the above need to be assessed and form part of a documented risk assessment.

 

If the risk assessment says no then at least we have gone through a thorough, objective process that may stand up in a court of law if necessary.

If the risk assessment says yes then we make sure any control measures are robustly implemented

 

If we say yes, we have not set a precedent that gives a free hand to all employees.

We can confidently stand by our decision and explain our rationale.

 

That's the power of a risk assessment.


hand-pointing-down.gif
 
Get FREE bitesize education with IFSQN webinar recordings.
 
Download this handy excel for desktop access to over 140 Food Safety Friday's webinar recordings.
https://www.ifsqn.com/fsf/Free%20Food%20Safety%20Videos.xlsx

 
Check out IFSQN’s extensive library of FREE food safety videos
https://www.ifsqn.com/food_safety_videos.html

 

recommend-us-on-facebook.png


Thanked by 1 Member:

#12 Blossom

Blossom

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 34 posts
  • 3 thanks
2
Neutral

  • Canada
    Canada

Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:01 PM

Thanks Simon  for the idea of Risk assessment and this topic is very important to discuss not only from food safety point of view but also to prepare food safety professional for any religious issues  in the company.

My company had a lot of Sikh employees and they had to wear their religious signs especially the baptised Sikhs eg kirpan (small covered knife - used as symbol and never used of hurting someone) and kara (plain metal band in arm). But they were always wearing it under their clothes so it was not visible and we made sure it is not risk to food safety.  Kara (plain metal band in arm ) was worn by them since many many years and in few cases it was hard to take off just like wedding band , for that we made sure employees cover it with arm sleeve and its not loose to stuck in equipment parts and they were not allowed to work with metal detector as well. .  Names of all employees wearing religious signs were kept on record. About the uncut hair they were always hygiencic enough and covered them  so we had no issues with that. and our auditor too had no problems with that.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users