Inflexibility and insensitivity are an unbeatable combo. Just ask Pliant Corp.
Pliant, a plastics manufacturer in Georgia, is facing a religious discrimination lawsuit from one of its factory workers. Here’s how the story unfolded, according to the legal complaint filed by Billy E. Hyatt.
Pliant had a policy of employees wearing stickers signifying the number of days the factory had been accident-free.
Hyatt, who describes himself as a devout Christian, had no problem with the policy — until the factory’s total of accident-free days reached 666.
That number is called “the mark of the beast” in the Bible, and Hyatt said wearing a sticker bearing that number “would be to accept the mark of the beast and to be condemned to hell.”
Hyatt made his concerns known to management, according to the complaint, but his manager allegedly said Hyatt’s “beliefs were ridiculous, and that (he) could go to work with a ‘666’ on his safety sticker or face a three-day suspension.”
He took the suspension. And when he returned, he was fired.
And now he’s dragged his employer into court.
OK, we get that claiming the number 666 has satanic powers is, well, somewhat unusual.
But would the entire operation crumble if Pliant told Hyatt he could skip wearing the safety sticker for one day?