Daniel Snyder was a ten-year employee of the lightweight metal engineering company, Arconic Inc., in June 2021 when he received what the company called an “anonymous survey” soliciting suggestions. The 63-year-old Christian and part-time pastor attempted to respond with a comment objecting to the company’s use of the rainbow to promote “Gay Pride Month,” calling it “an abomination to God,” and noting the rainbow “is not meant to be a sign for sexual gender.”
Through a mix-up of the company’s doing, Snyder’s “anonymous” comment was accidentally posted to a company intranet billboard – with his name attached – that any of the company’s 13,000 employees could read. One did, and complained to Human Resources.
Snyder was called in to HR, and first suspended and shortly thereafter terminated for violating the company’s “diversity policy.” When he appealed and met with several Arconic representatives to explain that he would never again respond to the company’s surveys in order to avoid any further problems, he was laughed at.
Snyder, along with his attorneys at Thomas More Society, feel the company violated his religious freedom rights under Title VII, the federal employment nondiscrimination law that prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion, and affirmatively requires employees to reasonably “accommodate” their employees’ religious beliefs where possible.
Snyder is now suing Arconic in federal court.
The facts in the case are so troubling that you have to read them verbatim from his federal court Complaint in order to grasp the unfairness of it all:
“On June 1, 2021, Mr. Snyder received an email from Arconic CEO Tim Myers inviting employees to respond to the company’s first-ever ‘Engagement Survey,’ which sought employee feedback on company performance and ways it could improve. The email stated that ‘responses would be anonymous.’
“During his work shift on June 3, Mr. Snyder attempted to respond to the official survey by clicking a link in the email from CEO Myers. He was directed to a company webpage displaying a rainbow flag in promotion of ‘Gay Pride Month’ for the month of June. Mr. Snyder had also observed similar promotions in the beginning of that month on the electronic sign outside the building where Mr. Snyder worked, and in the company’s newsletter for the month of June.
“In observing the webpage promotion of “Gay Pride Month” through use of the rainbow, Mr. Snyder believed it was part of the anonymous survey seeking feedback about the topic.”
Snyder left his comment on the page, which turned out to be – unbeknownst to Snyder – part of the company’s internal comment board rather than an anonymous comment page, and his employment fortunes went downhill rapidly after one person complained.
It appears that for Arconic, “diversity” really means uniformity of belief on the issue of “gay pride.”
“Arconic’s actions clearly violated Mr. Snyder’s right to be free from employment discrimination based on religion, as prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Iowa Civil Rights Act,” Michael McHale, Counsel at the Thomas More Society, explained in a press release. “His brief comment, in attempting to respond to a company web survey, was explicitly and facially religious. And yet Arconic made no effort to reasonably accommodate Mr. Snyder’s religious beliefs, even though it was a one-time statement that he had intended to be anonymous and private.
Hopefully, Snyder’s religious freedom rights will be vindicated by a court of law. The Daily Citizen will keep you updated on developments in the lawsuit.
The case is Snyder v. Arconic, Inc.
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