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CareerSource executive accused of imposing his religious views

The executive director for the South Florida CareerSource -- a state employee -- has been accused of trying to force his religious views upon employees. The three past and present workers involved allege they were the victims of religious discrimination. The claims involve instances where employees were forced to participate in religious activities on the job or refrain from doing so and, by those actions, identify themselves as followers of a different religious faith than that of the boss.

One of the former directors, who happens to be Jewish, alleges that he had a difficult time with the executive director's religious views. On one occasion, the man was asked to work on a Saturday for an event, but he said he could not because it was his Sabbath. To accommodate his boss, he suggested the work event be moved to Sunday. Allegedly, the boss told him that would not happen because that was the executive director's Sabbath day. As such, it is claimed that the executive director seemed to have no regard for the religious beliefs of the employee.

The workers also claim that prayers were held at the start of each staff meeting. Those who did not want to participate had the choice to leave, but it made those who wanted to go feel uncomfortable and awkward. During one of the prayer meetings, one of the three joked that workers should not be held to an error-free work environment if only Jesus is perfect. The boss simply glared at the worker, who was fired shortly thereafter.

After losing his job, the man filed a complaint with the Miami-Dade Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices, alleging religious discrimination. Other workers had allegedly complained about the executive director's behavior, but it is claimed that nothing was done. It remains to be seen what legal action will follow these complaints as the three seek to challenge what they believe to be discriminatory acts, though it appears they have grounds to seek relief through the state's civil court system. The board of directors for CareerSource -- which is the largest operation of its kind in Florida -- will be meeting soon and will likely discuss the allegations.

Source: miaminewtimes.com, "CareerSource South Florida Executive Director Rick Beasley Accused of Religious Discrimination", Jess Swanson, Oct. 12, 2015

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