Buddhist Says Plano Telecom Company Fired Him for Refusing to Quote Bible Verses

Categories: Legal Battles

BuddhaFlick.jpg
Shan Putnam
During eight years working for Plano-based Goodman Networks, Jef Mindrup's Buddhism was never really an issue, and why would it be? Serving as the marketing director for a large-ish telecom company requires allegiance to no specific creed.

Mindrup says that changed on March 14, 2012, when Jody Goodman -- Goodman Networks' co-founder, board member, and "vice president of staffing, corporate travel and diversity" -- asked him to immediately begin adding daily Bible quotes to The Daily Coffee, the company's morning email newsletter.

According to a federal lawsuit Mindrup filed last week, he refused. "Jody, I am unable to add quotes or scriptures from the Bible as you've requested," he wrote in response to the request. "I have always taken great care to avoid any quotes that would offend others as well as my own personal religious beliefs."

The suit says Goodman responded first by telling Mindrup that he understood and respected his personal beliefs, then, after work the next day, by firing him over the phone.

A spokesman for Goodman Networks says the company does not comment on pending litigation. In response to an inquiry by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it said that Mindrup was laid off as part of a planned reduction in force. Mindrup says that the company invented this explanation to cover up for illegal discrimination.

Mindrup's suit blames the company for loss of income and emotional distress, neither of which prevented him from pursuing a patent for his handheld pizza cooking device.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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33 comments
todddunayer
todddunayer

Why not have daily quotes to include one of the many absurd statements in the bible?

eat_the_rich
eat_the_rich

Headline is misleading (most likely intentionally so).  He was not asked to quote bible verses, but rather to add them to the company news letter.

msitarzewski
msitarzewski

Diversity. LOL. See: http://www.diversitycalendar.com :) It's amazing to me to see how our traditional belief structures continue to cloud judgement. If someone had suggested that they add quotes from the Quran, Goodman would have scoffed immediately. That's when you know you're treading on "offensive."

blankcur1
blankcur1

If he would have stopped before "as well as my own personal religious beliefs" he probably would have been ok. 

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

If the boss tells you to do something, you do it - as long it's not against the law.  If you don't like it, find another job.

cpr4life8
cpr4life8

They will lose this lawsuit.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

What did the Buddhist say to the pizza chef?

"Make me one with everything."

TexMarine
TexMarine

If he would have just added the missing F to his name, this wouldn't have happened.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Are Buddhists allowed to eat pizza?

And if I use a cast-iron pan on the stove, with a butane torch, would I violate his patent?

Bet he wins his lawsuit tho. They could have accommodated his religious objections by having someone else handle the email duties.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

The patent document for making pizza with a blow-torch is far more interesting than Mindrup's employment woes.

However, as interesting as the blowtorch-pizza concept may be, judging by the documents for the patent, I'd advise Mindrup to find himself another day-job.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@eat_the_rich  
Too bad there's not a Bible quote about "intentionally obtuse." When one adds text from an existing publication (the Bible) to a new publication (the news letter), that's quoting. I'll bet you tried to argue your way out of plagiarism charges in high school, huh.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@AdamsonScott Its not about the find anther Job. Its the fired outside of  the Proper Company process that is going to cost them a few dollars 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Sharon

This is why this forum needs a "Groan" button.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TexMarine  
It's the sound of one 'f' clapping. One must become one with the oneness to hear it.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@TheRuddSki  

If they have termination guidelines to follow or the guy had an employment contract they could have bought themselves a bit of trouble as well.

That's why Terminations should be handled by well trained and informed Human Resource people . 


dingo
dingo

@TheCredibleHulk  

Maybe he really got fired for smelling up the lunchroom with burnt pizza crispies.

leftocenter
leftocenter

Way bettter than your Fuddruckers joke

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@oakclifftownie

If they have no documentation of this "planned reduction", they're going to lose.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@leftofcenter

It's not an insult, grumpy. BTW, check who hit the "Like" button.

dingo
dingo

@TheCredibleHulk  

Strolling about the premises, looking for that one unattended, half-full coffee mug to embroil.

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