Buddhist Texan fired for disobeying Biblical orders

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When Jef Mindrup’s boss asked him to adjust the company’s newsletter, he flat out refused. The former director of marketing communications at Goodman Networks is Buddhist, and the company cofounder had requested that he disseminate daily Bible verses as part of the company’s daily communication with its 5,192 employees.

Mindrup had been delivering the newsletter for six years until March 2012, when he responded to his boss, saying he was “unable to add quotes or scriptures from the Bible as you’ve requested. I have always taken great care to avoid any quotes that would offend others as well as my own personal religious beliefs.”

His employer replied that the company respected his beliefs, but the next day, he was fired via phone specifically for his refusal to include Bible verses, with no warning or discipline. When he went to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Goodman Networks claimed his termination was part of a “pre-planned and well-thought out reduction in force.”

He has taken his case to a Texas district court and is suing for lost wages, damages for Title VII discrimination and punitive damages for pain and suffering.

Goodman Networks declined requests for comment
  • Cheryl McCorkle on 4/9/2014 12:27:59 PM

    I don't understand where the company's HR Director was while they were discussing the termination of this employees and during the actual termination. This termination should have occurred due to insubordination of the employee and nothing else. We as an employer have a right to request employees to perform their job as directed. Employees have a choice as to whether to work for us or not. There was nothing discriminatory about this situation. It was just not handled correctly by management in my opinion. I'll be watching for the outcome of this situation.

  • Janet Nima Taylor on 4/9/2014 8:58:27 AM

    We Buddhists in Kansas City support Jef Mindrup in his willingness to put his lifelihood on the line for religious freedom. Go Jef! Let's hope the courts do the right thing.

  • Hoganwch on 4/9/2014 8:42:24 AM

    While this SOUNDS like a real problem for the company, recent court decisions regarding commerce and refusal to provide commercial services based on religious beliefs indicate that the company may be right.
    If a photographer can be required to provide services for a gay marriage ceremony, so too it seems would a communications director be obliged to "communicate" the company's message a directed.

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