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constantgardener

Muslim cashier refuses to sell alcohol

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constantgardener

This story is causing a fuss in the British media this morning. Briefly, a Muslim cashier refused to serve a customer who wanted to buy a bottle of champagne in Marks & Spencer, because she would not touch alcohol due to her religion. I'm not sure how I feel about this - I mean, if you work in a food shop at Christmas you are probably going to be asked to sell a lot of alcohol. Then again, perhaps she should have been assigned work in a different part of the store. Thoughts?

 

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25488259

Edited by OnceUponATime
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yewnique
This story is causing a fuss in the British media this morning. Briefly, a Muslim cashier refused to serve a customer who wanted to buy a bottle of champagne in Marks & Spencer, because she would not touch alcohol due to her religion. I'm not sure how I feel about this - I mean, if you work in a food shop at Christmas you are probably going to be asked to sell a lot of alcohol. Then again, perhaps she should have been assigned work in a different part of the store. Thoughts?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25488259

She should have asked to work in a 'Halal' section or anything that would not require her to come into contact with non-halal things if she felt so strongly about it.

Personally, I know of practicing Muslims who would have no problem touching a bottle/glass/container that held alcohol, or a packet of pork/ham. As long as they don't actually touch the food/drink, they're okay with it.

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RosyDaisy

Don't apply for or accept a job that requires you to do anything that is against your religious beliefs or conscience. It's that simple.

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formergothardite
Don't apply for or accept a job that requires you to do anything that is against your religious beliefs or conscience. It's that simple.

Exactly.

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JesusFightClub
Don't apply for or accept a job that requires you to do anything that is against your religious beliefs or conscience. It's that simple.

This.

I haven't got any time for anyone who applies to work in M&S (which stocks a wide variety of alcohol and pork products) and then claims not to be able to touch said products. That's really stupid, as it is guaranteed you will have to touch them at some point. (I used to work for M&S).

(However, this is less of a fault of the employee's than the fault of M&S's employee code, which says they can refuse it. So the employee was within her rights, mind you if I was them I would change the code.)

In my road are loads of little corner shops. The one at the top of the road is owned by Muslims with no problem with selling you alcohol, porn or bacon (or even all three). The one at the bottom of the road is owned by an old Muslim bloke who doesn't want to sell any of the above items, so he doesn't. It would be daft to apply to the first shop if you really wanted to work in a place like the latter shop, just as if you're planning a porn-drenched, booze-soaked bacon fest, you'd be daft to attempt to do your shopping in the latter shop instead of the first one. Horses for courses, innit.

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Avalondaughter

If you are holding a bottle, you are not touching alcohol. But if you have that big of a problem with touching even a closed bottle, food retail is probably not your best line of work. I'd be curious if the cashier was upfront about her beliefs at the time of hire. That way the employers could have made a decision to either hire this person, or else assign her to a department where this would not be an issue.

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NurseNell

There was a problem several years ago with MN Muslim taxi drivers refusing to allow passengers who were carrying alcohol in their bags. Specifically these were drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where many passengers buy alcohol in the duty free shops. Drivers, Muslim or not, have always had the option of refusing drunk passengers but this was totally not reasonable. Eventually the ruling was if you want to work the airport routes, which are very lucrative, then you cannot refuse passengers based on what products were in their shopping bags.

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anachronistic

In the disability community there's also been cab drivers who refuse to pick up people with service dogs due to religion. It's definitely illegal and they get fined/punished for it.

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Dinorah
If you are holding a bottle, you are not touching alcohol. But if you have that big of a problem with touching even a closed bottle, food retail is probably not your best line of work. I'd be curious if the cashier was upfront about her beliefs at the time of hire. That way the employers could have made a decision to either hire this person, or else assign her to a department where this would not be an issue.

Exactly. The taxi thing is even more ridiculous--what were those passengers doing, waving around their duty free bottles? Sometimes it just looks like people are trying to show how holy they are.

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ADoyle90815

Exactly. The taxi thing is even more ridiculous--what were those passengers doing, waving around their duty free bottles? Sometimes it just looks like people are trying to show how holy they are.

That's what it is, they're showing their holier-than-thou status even when those duty free bottles aren't visible.

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gardenvarietycitizen

Exactly. The taxi thing is even more ridiculous--what were those passengers doing, waving around their duty free bottles? Sometimes it just looks like people are trying to show how holy they are.

Not to mention, how often do you need the taxi driver to actually handle your bags to the point that they'd be touching the alcohol bottles, if that were indeed the driver's specific issue? Even if they're loading your big bags into the trunk or whatever it is, you can easily just keep your duty free bag on your lap or load it in the trunk yourself.

Though while we're on the topic of touching alcohol weirdness, I have to say it's a bit annoying here in IL when I'm trying to buy beer at the supermarket (along with the rest of my groceries) and it turns out the cashier isn't 19, so she has to (by law!!) go get some other of-age employee to (somehow sign in and) swipe the beer across the laser scanner. She can't drag it across, and *I* can't drag it across, we have to wait for some manager to come over. I mean, really?

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OkToBeTakei

There are always going to be people of whatever religion making an issue out of whatever ...they bore me.

Agree with all who said don't take the job if you can't meet your contracted duties. Fair enough if if you are asked to do something adhoc which was not in your contract. Working in M&S though? Yeah your going to have to deal with alcohol and and a myriad of other changing menus and foodstuff. I just feel this type of person does this for the whole 'look' at me and my way to make a point. Stupid.

Like JFC most of my local convenience shops are Muslim and as she posted some are full on alcohol, anything goes and some are just plain newsagent plus snacks etc. I appreciate the convenience and also their beliefs. They are good and generally fair business people. In Scotland they have cornered a market that I would say most appreciate. It certainly is just a norm.

It his HER responsibility to find a job which meets her beliefs and needs. Not the employer.

Name me one Supermarket that would meet her needs?

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Vex

Though while we're on the topic of touching alcohol weirdness, I have to say it's a bit annoying here in IL when I'm trying to buy beer at the supermarket (along with the rest of my groceries) and it turns out the cashier isn't 19, so she has to (by law!!) go get some other of-age employee to (somehow sign in and) swipe the beer across the laser scanner. She can't drag it across, and *I* can't drag it across, we have to wait for some manager to come over. I mean, really?

I'm pretty sure that's a major factor in why we don't sell alcohol in supermarkets in boozy Australia. Many supermarkets are staffed almost exclusively by teenagers (especially Woolworths, for some reason...). True, the legal age here is only 18 but plenty of high school kids work in supermarkets, enough that it would cause issues. Alcohol is only sold in liquor shops that you have to be 18 to work in. To make up for the lack of booze in supermarkets we have a billion bottle-os.

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miffy

I think it's a trillion. Aldi sell alcohol in VIC. But they have fewer staff, but older.

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skrmom
Don't apply for or accept a job that requires you to do anything that is against your religious beliefs or conscience. It's that simple.

I agree. People know what a job requires before accepting it. I don't understand why a Muslim can not touch a container pork or alcohol is in. They aren't ingesting the food or alcohol.

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Childless

It boils down to the person wanting to parade their piousness. It's no different than pharmacists in the U.S. refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. They know that people will come in the pharmacy with those prescriptions, so why on earth would they decide on a career or take a job at a facility that would violate their beliefs? Because they can lecture people on their evil ways and act all holier than thou. I can't think of any other reason. It's all about feeling like you're better than someone else. Otherwise, you'd quietly get a job somewhere that fit with your beliefs and not make a spectacle of yourself.

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patsymae

I had a Muslim taxi driver in Cincinnati refuse to take me to a bar. I complained and he got in trouble. Where I live now there was a driver who refused a passenger with a seeing-eye dog (not Muslim, just allergies or something) and he also got in trouble. It might be different in places where taxi drivers aren't licensed.

I can see making some accomodations for religion--such as relaxing a dress code when safety isn't an issue, or allowing religious holidays when the company is large enough to accomodate them--but yeah, agree with everyone else--don't take a job if doing that job is going to offend your religious sensibilities.

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jaelh
I had a Muslim taxi driver in Cincinnati refuse to take me to a bar. I complained and he got in trouble. Where I live now there was a driver who refused a passenger with a seeing-eye dog (not Muslim, just allergies or something) and he also got in trouble. It might be different in places where taxi drivers aren't licensed.

Bad allergies I can understand - if you have a really severe reaction to dander, sometimes it can't be controlled very well. I have much less problem with people needing medical accommodations than with religious ones, when taking passengers. I don't think it falls in the same category (At all!) as not taking an animal on the basis of your religious beliefs.

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Alachantal

Bad allergies I can understand - if you have a really severe reaction to dander, sometimes it can't be controlled very well. I have much less problem with people needing medical accommodations than with religious ones, when taking passengers. I don't think it falls in the same category (At all!) as not taking an animal on the basis of your religious beliefs.

I've worked in a Taxi Company, not in the US or UK so it may be different, and even a driver with an allergy to pets or just doesn't want to transport pets can't refuse a seeing eye dog. They can have specifications added to their profiles that they don't transport pets or deliver alcohol (for whatever reason), but unless they have that on their profile (and therefore they wouldn't even be able to accept trips containing pets etc) they're shit out of luck.

Here a cabbie refusing someone with a working dog would result in massive fines from the Transportation Board as well as a 2 day suspension from working, and refusing to drop a customer somewhere or take a trip due to alcohol would result in the cabbie getting booked off for (usually, sometimes longer) 2 hours. Of course it's different if the customer is absolutely shit faced, they do have the right to refuse and/or ask for cash up front...

I do agree, however, if you know they position you're applying for or the job you're doing is going to violate your religious/moral code or what not, you should work elsewhere. Usually employers are fairly accommodating anyway. :roll:

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Vex
I think it's a trillion. Aldi sell alcohol in VIC. But they have fewer staff, but older.

Ah, okay. We don't have Aldi yet. I think there's a state law in SA that says we have to wait at least 5 years before importing popular things from interstate like Aldi or Krispy Kreme, Starbucks ect.

In fact, they waited so long to bring Starbucks here that people were way too loyal to Gloria Jean's and they were driven out of business in the CBD. Everything is upside down and backwards in SA.

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