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  #21  
Old 25 December 2013, 07:32 PM
diddy diddy is offline
 
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Indeed. I can research the local laws about purchasing alcohol (If I so desired) and independently verify that said person can abide by those rules and such rules arenít something that the seller can control.

That isnít really practical or possible when we talk about peopleís religious beliefs since they tend to be so personal and due to the variety of beliefs within a certain religion.

I mean not all catholics have such personal beliefs about dispensing birth control as we have seen in the past, and there is certainly no way we can verify that a person actually legitimately believes in that tenant other then either take them at their word or monitor them endlessly to catch them doing something they claim to believe is wrong.
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  #22  
Old 25 December 2013, 09:58 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I expect, and accept, a brief delay waiting for a cashier who can legally ring up my sixpack. Why should that same sort of delay suddenly be a problem because "someone invoked the magic R word"?
Agreed, the tea-bagger type customers should get over themselves.
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  #23  
Old 26 December 2013, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Or the cashier may be underage and not legally allowed to ring-up a particular item (alcohol, cigarettes, spray paint, ...)
Legal issues are different - one would no more expect an underage cashier to sell alcohol, cigarettes, or spray paint, than for a legal-aged cashier to sell alcohol at a time when it is prohibited.

Service industries and retail sales, even though they put up signs indicating that they can "refuse service to anyone", get themselves into trouble whenever they do refuse service. Usually it's to punish a customer, but we don't generally hold the values of the employee to trump those of the customer - and refusing to serve alcohol or pork, on religious grounds, is dangerously close to allowing an employee to not serve a customer because of their gender or race, and completely on par with pharmacists denying emergency contraception because of religious beliefs. Sure, alcohol and bacon are nowhere near as important (in terms of timely purchase) as emergency contraception, *but* the principles are the same. We're not very sympathetic here, are we, of that, so why the "pass" for the same refusal on the basis of islamic beliefs?

How'd y'all feel about the barber shop - run by male muslim barbers - which refused service to a woman on religious grounds?

Should a vegan be exempt from handling or selling animal products, even though they may work in such a store? I am sure that some people here would argue that the "lifestyle choice" of veganism has as much validity and principal as any religion (notwithstanding that vegetarianism and even veganism are tenets of some religions), so how far does it go? What about a devout Christian whose particular flavor of Christianity bans alcohol? All of these are less common and less "emotionally charged", than the issues associated with muslims, but the more I think about this, the more I realize that it is indeed the same principle as the denial of emergency contraception by conservative Christian pharmacists - and that gets widely denounced on this board.

(Excellent choice of pointing out the spray paint, by the way, because spray paint is free from any moral or religious baggage. But that one is a legal issue, and I don't imagine that any person in retail sales has an objection to the sale of spray paint.)
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  #24  
Old 26 December 2013, 03:21 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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Sounds quite a bit like a 'slippery slope' argument. I, for one, don't see on a par with selling contraceptives at all. I don't see how a legitimate medical need can be compared to a recreational drug.
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  #25  
Old 26 December 2013, 04:27 AM
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And I don't see why someone should be able to claim a religious exemption from selling something that's being carried by the store where they work.
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  #26  
Old 26 December 2013, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I've always found the "It's no big deal as long as I don't have to wait long" argument rather incongruous.

If you walked up to a checkout and the sales person looked at you and went "I just don't feel like waiting on you. I'm gonna go get someone else to do it" would that be reasonable? Why should it become reasonable just because someone invoked the magic "R" word?
I don't think anyone said it's reasonable. But your situation is different because that's a deliberate insult to a specific customer. Imagine the cashier just had some weird fear of pickles. It'd be strange if she ran to get someone else to ring up the jar. But would it make the papers? Cause a boycott?
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  #27  
Old 27 December 2013, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Sounds quite a bit like a 'slippery slope' argument. I, for one, don't see on a par with selling contraceptives at all. I don't see how a legitimate medical need can be compared to a recreational drug.
The argument made by the religious/ethical pharmacist is that the person can go somewhere else to get what they *want*. It's never about what a person *needs*. They argue that emergency contraception is not necessary, but merely a choice - one they will not support - and the party is free to go elsewhere. Having to face that short delay when buying alcohol or pork, is more or less the same. The person is free to wait, or go elsewhere, and neither is a necessity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I don't think anyone said it's reasonable. But your situation is different because that's a deliberate insult to a specific customer. Imagine the cashier just had some weird fear of pickles. It'd be strange if she ran to get someone else to ring up the jar. But would it make the papers? Cause a boycott?
I think they need to get over it. One of the explicit conditions of accepting a job in a retail store is that the person has no ethical objections to the sale of any product sold there, and will not impede or intervene with the customer's purchase. I'd be deeply disappointed with a vegan/vegetarian snorting derisively or making comments about my choice of foodstuffs, or refusing to handle the leather belt/shoes I have purchased. I'd be similarly disappointed if they tried to talk me out of buying those things. It would be very similar to a cashier saying "those cookies really aren't very good for you" or "maybe you should try some quinoa instead of those instant mashed potatoes" - especially since I'm on the heavy side, or even "how can you live with yourself - buying all these bargain brands" when I might not be able to afford anything else. All of those attitudes and beliefs have to basically get left outside. Even if they are irrational fears. If a person has a fear of pickles, or an objection to logging, should not work in a place selling either pickles or lumber. Really. Making such an accommodation of an employee is, in my humble opinion, really causing the customer to suffer unfairly.

(Note - it's not my intention to offend vegans/vegetarians, but I'm trying to find an example that isn't a religious issue. I do recall being in a small restaurant - a small "new age" diner that was all about natural organic food - and nearly having my head taken off by the cashier for asking for a soda. A simple "no, we don't sell any" would suffice, but instead I got a very sharp-tongued lecture.)
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  #28  
Old 27 December 2013, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
The argument made by the religious/ethical pharmacist is that the person can go somewhere else to get what they *want*. It's never about what a person *needs*. They argue that emergency contraception is not necessary, but merely a choice - one they will not support - and the party is free to go elsewhere.
I understand that's what they might argue. I just read "completely on par" as "completely analogous" which would imply that you agree with them on this matter.
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  #29  
Old 27 December 2013, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
One of the explicit conditions of accepting a job in a retail store is that the person has no ethical objections to the sale of any product sold there, and will not impede or intervene with the customer's purchase.
The first part of this sentence is clearly false.
Quote:
Different approaches are taken by Britain's four major supermarket owners over whether staff should be excused from certain jobs due to their religion.
Sainsbury's said staff on tills or restocking would be asked to handle alcohol and meat although it worked with "individuals to ensure we are inclusive and fair" while Wal-Mart Store Inc's Asda had one policy for all.
Morrison said it respected staff's wishes not to handle certain products at any time of year while Tesco said it had no definitive policy but handled cases on merit.
So no, there's no such explicit condition.
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  #30  
Old 27 December 2013, 03:51 AM
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I've bought a lot of beer in convenience and grocery stores over the last 34 years and I've never had to wait for another cashier b/c of age (or religion or anything else), nor have I heard of anyone else having to wait. Maybe the age factor varies by state? I know here you have to be 18 to serve open alcohol and 21 to be a bartender. I'm pretty sure someone has to be 21 to work in an ABC store to sell liquor.
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  #31  
Old 27 December 2013, 11:53 AM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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I've been in the states several times with work, and when I buy beer, it is usually at a grocery store.

When I do have the clerk who has not yet reached the age of majority, it has never been more than a "manager's call" or signal to have the manager look over and give the thumbs up for the sale. I think the longest I've ever waited was about 30 seconds.

And to be honest, the clerk always looked more embarrassed than anyone else in line was annoyed.
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  #32  
Old 27 December 2013, 12:19 PM
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It rarely takes more than 30 seconds here, even though the "thumbs up" isn't sufficient -- the 21+ employee (not necessarily a manager) actually has to scan the alcohol and enter a birthdate.

Why that would be any more inconvenient if the person was doing it for religious reasons baffles me.
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  #33  
Old 27 December 2013, 01:24 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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It not that it is necessarily more inconvenient. It is that the inconvenience of one is due to the cashier adhering to law and the inconvenience of the other is due to what amounts to the cashier's whim.
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  #34  
Old 27 December 2013, 01:28 PM
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You also might be able to guess if the person ringing you up is old enough to ring up all of your purchases. It's harder to guess religion on sight (although, granted, not impossible).

Here, grocery stores tend to put up signs on lanes that will not ring up alcohol, and few have liquor licenses anyway, so people tend to go to liquor stores for those sorts of things.

Slight hijack: Why does non-alcoholic wine ring up as needing an ID, but cooking wine doesn't? Cooking wine actually has alcohol in it, same as the drinking sort. Non-alcoholic wine doesn't. I've always found that rather odd.
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  #35  
Old 27 December 2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
It not that it is necessarily more inconvenient. It is that the inconvenience of one is due to the cashier adhering to law and the inconvenience of the other is due to what amounts to the cashier's whim.
Yeah, as I thought I said above, I don't give a flip.

If g-you are going to claim that invoking religion doesn't suddenly make the unacceptable acceptable, how can g-you also argue that invoking religion makes the acceptable (a 15-second wait before one's beer is scanned) unacceptable?

ETA: I've just been assuming age is the reason every time someone else is called over to scan my alcohol. Maybe in some of the cases it's been religion. Why should I care, when it made no difference to my experience?
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  #36  
Old 27 December 2013, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Yeah, as I thought I said above, I don't give a flip.
I was saying why other people might find it to be an issue, not why you should have an issue with it.

Quote:
If g-you are going to claim that invoking religion doesn't suddenly make the unacceptable acceptable, how can g-you also argue that invoking religion makes the acceptable (a 15-second wait before one's beer is scanned) unacceptable?
Because we as a society can change and should the law when we wish to, but we can't (and in most cases shouldn't) change someone's religious beliefs. IOW, the delay to get a 21+ year old to ring it up is something we as a society have imposed on ourselves. The delay to get Bob Catholic to ring up the demon rum is something that someone imposes on us because they want to.

Quote:
ETA: I've just been assuming age is the reason every time someone else is called over to scan my alcohol. Maybe in some of the cases it's been religion. Why should I care, when it made no difference to my experience?
You don't have to care, but others might (and do based on the OP) care about it. Also, it could be a hiring/staffing issue for smaller stores as I'm guessing they'd wouldn't be able to not hire someone (or would face a huge stink) because that potential employee refused to handle a product on religious reasons. But (AFAIK) a store could refuse to hire someone who wasn't able to legally handle a product, especially for smaller stores that might have only one or two employees in the store at a time.

ETA: And this is about more than a wait to buy alcohol or bacon, but the basic question of whether an employer can require an employee to perform a part of their job if that part is against the employee's beliefs.
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  #37  
Old 27 December 2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Because we as a society can change and should the law when we wish to, but we can't (and in most cases shouldn't) change someone's religious beliefs. IOW, the delay to get a 21+ year old to ring it up is something we as a society have imposed on ourselves.
Very indirectly. I think it's a stupid law, frankly, and I doubt it will change in my lifetime.
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  #38  
Old 27 December 2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post


You don't have to care, but others might (and do based on the OP) care about it. Also, it could be a hiring/staffing issue for smaller stores as I'm guessing they'd wouldn't be able to not hire someone (or would face a huge stink) because that potential employee refused to handle a product on religious reasons. But (AFAIK) a store could refuse to hire someone who wasn't able to legally handle a product, especially for smaller stores that might have only one or two employees in the store at a time.
Further to this it also makes a difference if it is happening continually at the same cash. If I am waiting in line I might not even notice if all work stops until someone else can come over to scan a specific item. Once. I am certainly going to notice if it keeps happening as the line progresses. I am already one of those lucky people who seems to choose the line where someone is paying with nickels or where the cash register tapes runs out or gets snarled up, I know I'd be the one to choose the line where customer after customer was buying a bottle of wine or a package of bacon.
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  #39  
Old 27 December 2013, 02:24 PM
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To Lainie:
Probably not, but I believe it is not uncommon for annoyance to be increased a lot if the delay is due to an identifiable human cause. Drivers are more annoyed by slow people in front of them than by a red light even if the red light causes more delay. If you're in line behind someone who pulls out their checkbook at the last minute, you're probably more annoyed that if you get behind two people in line even though the latter is probably more delay.
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  #40  
Old 27 December 2013, 05:18 PM
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I'm pretty much with Lainie.

As long as the sale can be made by someone within a reasonable period of time, I don't care too much about the reason.

If you're pregnant and my scented candle sent you running to the bathroom, I accept the wait and change of personnel (and I'm sincerely sorry).

If you're underage and have to get someone else to ring my alcohol, no problem.

If you're allergic to celery (I don't know, I'm making stuff up) and need me to put it in a bag or scan it myself or wait while you call another cashier, no prob.

If you have a religious belief against handling some of my items, that's okay too. I think it's silly, but not a problem.

Now, here's where there is a problem.

My (imaginary) grocery store only has one register open after nine Mon-Thur. I, as the manager, am busy supervising other things and sometimes can't drop what I'm doing to run to the front over a case of beer.

Do I refuse to let my devout Muslim employees take the last evening shift? Isn't that discrimination?

Now, I'm going to be hiring an additional manager, so I can start taking two days a week off. The manager needs to be able to handle scanning alcohol, etc, when the underage or devout cashiers can't or won't. Two of my best and most trusted employees have applied for the promotion.

Is it discrimination if I don't give it to the Muslim one? Because the thing that's no big deal in a cashier is much bigger in a higher-up employee.


Also, more as a thought experiment than any kind of suggestion, what if lines had signs above them? This one is the only one to purchase cigarettes (because it's the one where they are, as currently is the policy in many stores), this one is no pork or alcohol. I wonder how that would work?

Would my customers show their disapproval and/or prejudice (depending on your POV and their motivation) by refusing to go through the no-pork line even when they're only buying a loaf of bread and a carton of eggs? If so, does that mean I fire my devout employee (or move him to a different position)? Or would those not buying a ham Thanksgiving week appreciate that I'm diverting a large number of customers to another line, shortening this one for them? I wonder how it would go.
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