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Valuing Diversity or Tolerating Differences?

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Failure to provide religious accommodations - Buonanno employee would not sign an anti-discrimination policy that required him to "value" the beliefs of his employer and fellow co-workers, specifically, homosexuality. If you were the human resources manager, how would you have handled Buonanno's concerns?

See case file ALBERT A. BUONANNO, Plaintiff, v. AT&T BROADBAND, LLC

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Solution Summary

This solution addresses how an HR department might respond to an employee who was fired for refusing to sign a document 'valuing' a life style he/she disagreed with.

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There is a very fine line between asking people to TOLERATE individual differences and asking them to place value on or consider equal those lifestyles or choices to which they are opposed. Although multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance in the workplace (or anywhere) are laudable goals, it is unrealistic to assume that training courses, education, or anti-discrimination policies will effectively close the gap between different lifestyles which are perceived to be in conflict with each other (for whatever reason, national/gender/racial/sexuality preferences/dietary preferences). Prior to his termination, Buonanno said that he could respect and value the individual, and further, he agreed that he would not discriminate against other employees; but he could not, due to his religious beliefs, respect or value 'homosexuality'. In my opinion, this is as much as ...

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