Facing South
Facing South

Chick-fil-A's history of workplace discrimination

Facing South
Facing South
Appreciate this post? Please donate & share below.
Reddit »

In the debate raging over Chick-fil-A's position on gay rights, some defenders of the Georgia-based fast-food chain have claimed that despite Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy's statements against same-sex marriage and the company's generous funding of anti-gay groups, the outspokenly Christian corporation doesn't discriminate against workers.

But in fact, the company has been sued at least a dozen times for employment discrimination, according to Forbes magazine.

One of the cases involved Aziz Latif, a former Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston, who sued the company in 2002 because he was fired a day after refusing to participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program. Latif is a Muslim. The suit was settled, but the terms were not disclosed, Forbes reported.

More recently, a former employee of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Georgia sued the company for wrongful termination, alleging she and other women employees were victims of gender discrimination.

According to the lawsuit filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Brenda Honeycutt began working at a Chick-fil-A in Duluth, Ga. 1991 and was promoted to a general manager in 1997. But Jeff Howard, the restaurant's owner and operator, "routinely made comments to [Honeycutt] suggesting that as a mother she should stay home with her children."

In April 2011, Howard hired a man named Bill Green as a general manager and began holding management meetings with him and two other male managers but excluded Honeycutt. In late June, Howard fired Honeycutt, telling her and other employees that he did so so she could be a stay-at-home mother.

The lawsuit alleges a pattern of discrimination against female employees at the Duluth, Ga. restaurant. A female kitchen manager was demoted after she became a mother and was later fired and replaced by a man. Four other women were also demoted, allegedly without just cause.

Honeycutt first took her complaint of gender discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigated and granted her a notice of right to sue. Honeycutt is seeking to get her job back as well as lost wages and compensation for humiliation, emotional distress and other damages.

Another lawsuit filed earlier this year against a California Chick-fil-A claims that four former employees of the restaurant were sexually harassed by their boss -- and when they took their complaints to the owner, they were first ignored, then fired, then reported to immigration authorities in an attempt to have them deported.

Forbes noted that Chick-fil-A might face more discrimination lawsuits if it didn't screen potential hires and operators so rigorously, with many job candidates going through a yearlong vetting process with dozens of interviews that can last as long as five hours. The parent company also asks people who apply for operator licenses to disclose their marital status, number of dependents, and involvement in community, civic, social, church and professional organizations.

Federal law does not prohibit employers from asking potential hires questions about religion and marital status during interviews, and companies have even wider latitude in approving franchisees.

Since Cathy made his anti-gay marriage remarks last month, the chain's image with consumers has taken a hit. According to YouGuv's BrandIndex, the company's overall ratings among fast food eaters has dropped to its lowest levels in two years:

On July 16th, the day the Baptist Press published its Dan Cathy interview, Chick-Fil-A's Index score was 65, a very substantial 19 points above the Top National QSR Sector average score that day of 46.

Four days later, Chick-Fil-A had fallen to 47 score, three points below the Top National QSR Sector average score of 50. This past Wednesday, Chick-Fil-A had a 39 score compared to the Top National QSR Sector average score of 43.

In its home base of the South, Chick-fil-A's BrandIndex dropped from 80 on July 16 to 44 last week. Its biggest drop took place in the Northeast, where it fell from 76 to 35. And while its score in the Midwest initially jumped from 45 on July 16 to 70 two days later, it has since fallen back to 45.

(Photo from the Human Rights Campaign.)

0
Your rating: None

Comments

How about divorce? what about

How about divorce? what about the part of the christian ceremony "until death do you part" and "That God has joined, men must not divide"

Traditional marriage IS the

Traditional marriage IS the foundation of any sane & progressive society. Next thing you know polygamy & incest would be legalized. Why deny someone else's so-called "rights" anyway? Marriage IS solely for 1 man & 1 woman.

You're being illogical.

This is why the government has absolutely no business in regulating what is purely a social issue. There is absolutely nothing ethically or morally wrong with an individual living their life in the manner of their choosing, so long as doing so does not infringe on someone else's right to do the same. It becomes unethical to force people to conform to an arbitrary standard that exists beyond that simple rule that all of mankind, regardless of what god or gods they believe in, can agree upon: don't interfere with other people's lives. This and nothing else should be enforced by rule of law.

A progressive society operates with the same level of respect for every law-abiding citizen's right to lead the life of their choosing. What you're talking about is lacking in that respect, and thus is neither progressive, nor sane, as it asserts that other human beings who have done no wrong to another are somehow deserving of fewer rights than you. Also, I'd like to know what your issue is with polygamy or polyandry; there was evidence that it was commonly practiced in most if not all cultures until the rise of feudalism, when the landed elite became obsessed with consolidating their estates (and thus their power) within a single lineage, thereby keeping the "others" down. Historically, monogamy is a symptom of greed, something that is taught to be avoided in many religions but especially in Christianity's New Testament.

Q.E.D., stranger.

It's fair to have an opinion.

It's fair to have an opinion. but not yours. there is no possible way to take your thoughts into consideration as you (as can be inferenced,) don't support the LGBT community. As you say traditional marriage is the foundation for a "sane" community. Science would have been the foundation for a truly intelligent world until religion hastened it. As I have heard, without the dark ages, we would have been 1000 years more advanced. I fail to see yet how two men (or women) together somehow messes up society? Please, do explain. I fail to yet see how. OH NO! TWO MEN TOGETHER! NOOOOOO! oh no! they will get married. and suddenly society collapses? That is of course hyperbolic but I fail to see how same sex couples drive any community insane. I have LGBT friends and they are surely better people than you could be. This is why people hate Christianity. the smallest percentage of you all are the loudest and most annoying. I hope you have a terrible day. A terrible life, and STEP ON A LEGO BRICK IN BARE FEET!

person, you are right, it is

person, you are right, it is fair to have an opinion; it is also fair to disagree with someone's opinion. You are correct, there are many homosexuals who lead great lives, from a Christian standpoint, all they have done wrong is chosen to be homosexual. However, if I may, please don't use the same tactics to attack Yeah as I am sure people who are anti-Christian would attack Christians for.
"I have LGBT friends and they are surely better people than you could be." – I am sure you have never even met Yeah before in you're life and you are just assuming he/she is a bad person, they could also lead a great life.
"...the smallest percentage of you all are the loudest and most annoying." – One could easily say the same thing about any group, including the LGBT community and those who support it.
"I hope you have a terrible day. A terrible life, and STEP ON A LEGO BRICK IN BARE FEET!" – That is harsh. All Yeah did was express his/her beliefs, if you don't like them, just say so. There is no reason to attack anyone and wish bad things to happen to them.

Discrimination

You want to see some workplace discrimination, try being a Christian working at one of the prominent liberal news media outlets like Huffington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, Reuters, etc. Such a one would not last 24 hours in that bigoted hypocritical liberal environment.

Furthermore, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day set sales records nationwide, which proves what I've been saying all along ... that the support for "homosexual marriage" is not nearly so deep and wide as the lying liberal news media has been saying.

reply

Mary: try being a Christian working

John: That's one of the most ridiculous comments I've ever read in my lifetime.

Mary: Furthermore, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day set sales records nationwide, which proves what I've been saying all along

John: Of course a **focused* one-day sale is going to set a record...that's a no-brainer. What will sales be like for the rest of the year?! Next year, and the year after?

"In its home base of the South, Chick-fil-A's BrandIndex dropped from 80 on July 16 to 44 last week. Its biggest drop took place in the Northeast, where it fell from 76 to 35. And while its score in the Midwest initially jumped from 45 on July 16 to 70 two days later, it has since fallen back to 45."

Talk about Jesus Act Like The Devil

Mary Waterton,
Christian influence in America is fading, not because the folks that practice Christianity are bad, but because the American people are beginning to understand all of the things Christians have done in the name of Jesus.
Christians used the bible and Jesus to promote slavery, deny women the right to vote, kill and torture people during the inquisition and let's not forget the Salem witch trials done in the name of Jesus.
I'm sure many Christian would like to over look much of Christianity's past, but facts are facts. When Christians had a chance to stand up in Nazi Germany Pope Pius XII remained silent: "In the political vacuum created by its surrender, millions of Catholics joined the Nazi Party, believing that it had the support of the Pope.
Thus, according to Cornwell, Pius XII facilitated the rise of Hitler first through the negotiation of the Reichskonkordat and subsequently through his passivity, silence and inaction, which ultimately condoned and enabled the Holocaust."
As a practicing Christian I must tell you there are too many of us that that talk about Jesus and then act like the devil and that may be our downfall as a religion. if you want to worship Chick-Fil-A, that's fine with me, but I'll stick with Jesus.

A $4 billion company, and

A $4 billion company, and this is all the discrimination cases that can be found. All but one were committed by non-corporate people. I do not see evidence or admissions of guilt. I see accusations. The EEOC right to sue does not mean guilt, it means the person has the right to take it to court. I have yet to see the real story with the Muslim franchisee. All I can find is the allegation. All companies this size have some discrimination suits. Nothing in the interview process is illegal. Our local franchisee is Jewish. The franchisee for the sexual harassment suit is female. I think that makes a difference, and was ignored in this article. I found these details by googling each piece of your article. I want to see facts, not circumstantial one-sided stories.

What kind of story are you

What kind of story are you looking for with the Muslim franchisee? :

In 2000, Aziz Latif, 25, lost his job and his franchising opportunity because of his religious principles, a direct violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

During a training session on November 9, 2000, one day before Aziz Latif was terminated, there was a Christian-based group prayer. Everybody at the training session was asked to pray aloud, individually. When it came time for Aziz Latif, a Muslim, to pray in front of the group, he remained silent.

The next day, Aziz Latif was fired.

Don Perry, vice president for public relations at Chick-fil-A, commented on Aziz Latif's termination. "We want to make sure we are clear that this decision had no basis in religion or anyone's religious beliefs. We're going to be very active in defending this position and feel the lawsuit is frivolous."

Frivolous? Really? Aziz Latif received nothing but positive performance evaluations while working at Chick-fil-A since 1994. He even received a positive performance evaluation the week before he was fired.

Remember-Money Talks

This is a private own company. They can determine how to do business. They have a right to make money with selling their food. However, you need to be up front about how you will do business. That you have strong believes based on your Christian believes. Do not have people think that they have a job and can move up in the company then pull the rug out from under them. That is cruel and not how a "good" Christian should do business. Also remember that the general public can show their distaste for the way a company does business by not buying what they have to sell. Money does talk. I will not be going to this business again. I only have gone twice and that was one too many.

Marriage

Marriage has pretty much always been an economic thing with religions only chiming in when creating sets of civil laws for their followers. The reason you see large amounts of church involvement with marriage in Medieval Europe is because the church was essentially synonymous with the government. It was the church that was taking on the non-traditional role, not the government.

Fast Food For Fools!

I wondered why there has not been more outrage from the gay commumity, and then I realized, what self-respecting gay would eat this crap?

Georgia Known for Anti-Employee Bias

Chick-fil-A is not unique among Georgia employers. In fact, Georgia has the least protections for employees of ANY state. So this is hardly just about gays. It's the way Georgia does business.

wha?

anti gay remarks? i heard the interview and never once was anti anything said. what WAS said was 'I support TRADITIONAL marriage. Sounds like a positive to me. I can't speak to the other items in this article until I research more, but someone suing to get her job back at such a despicable company is a bit suspect.

Typical white straight

Typical white straight "Christian" male response, blessed with the privilege of ignorance he'll never have to challenge. This country is sure to continue shooting itself into smithereens and brutish, ignorant poverty as long as the dumb old white men are in charge.

Gay Marriage and Idiots

Really? Sounds alright to you? Suppose some of your rights were taken away by some fast food chain full of people haters? How would you like that? Let me guess, not so much! And anyone who thinks for one moment they have the right to tell people who to marry or love is not only IGNORANT AS HE'LL, BUT DUMB AS HELL!! That is NOT Gods way!!

"traditional" marriage

If one is speaking "traditional" marriage, one should actually be discussing historical tradition of marriage and the biblical history of marriage, specifically (if one is discussing Christian beliefs). Historically, Christian faiths not only condoned what is now referred to as "gay marriage" but sanctioned them and brought about legal and other proceedings such as things related to adultery and divorce. One can find this information in legal documentation within various nation-states that the Church appointed a figurehead (i.e. monarch) and put in place laws related to the nation-state's religion (ex. French court systems during various monarchies mention multiple cases). One can also find this information within various religion's archives (i.e. documentation of marriages within the church). So, by various Christian belief structures own history, the tradition of marriage is not strictly of opposite sex marriages. Cathy (and others) are merely repeating a modern definition of marriage rather than a traditional one.

Anti-gay remarks from Dan Cathy

"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about." --Dan Cathy

Anti-gay remarks from Dan Cathy

HOw does he feel abount divorce? After all "What God has joined, men must not divide"

Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy

Dan Cathy disdains divorce. He has been quoted proudly as saying he and all his key executives are still married to their first wives. Of course he does not have a policy against divorce, but if you think you can ever get a divorce and advance up the corporate ladder of the company I have a bridge between Brooklyn and NYC I would like to sell you.

That is how much of their corporate policy works. It is not so much what is put in writing but there is a definite unwritten code of personal choices, behaviors even ethnicities (or minority status) that one must abide by if one is viewed as promotable in the company.

Allow me to explain.

Let me explain something to you. If, by "support traditional marriage", he meant "support the rights of one man and one woman of to marry each other of their own volition, with the woman's consent as a factor", then *everybody* supports "traditional" marriage.

By the way, biblically traditional marriage does treat women as property, does not factor in a woman's consent, and even encourages taking multiple wives. But, that's an asside.

What he actually meant by "support traditional marriage" is an entirely different meaning of "oppose the rights of people to engage in same sex marriage, as my religion says that isn't a real marriage and the law in the US, because I have no concept of what the first Amendment actually says, my religion needs to be enforced by law".

That's what made that an anti-gay statement.

As for suing to get one's job back, are you under the impression that people who would work at CFA are independantly wealthy and that even a really good economy is overflowing with jobs? Simple truth, people need money to survive and don't have a lot of options to get it.

You do realise that they give

You do realise that they give a significant amount of money to organizations who ACTIVELY seek to end gay marriage (and prevent the passing of allowing gay marraige). So yes, it is hateful. Why else would you control someone else's rights?

Marriage stopped being a religious thing when people started getting divorces within hours after marriage and the government starting giving benefits to spouses.

Post new comment

You may enter comments here to publicly respond to this article. If you are having trouble posting your comment, please contact Jerimee@southernstudies.org.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Type the characters you see in this picture.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.