DADS tells employees to stop exercising religion at work

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POSTED: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 6:05pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 11:17am

TEXAS-- Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities service wrote this an email to their employees across the state. It reads: "This is a reminder to all staff that prayer is considered a religious activity and therefore should not be included in unit/staff meetings at any time, not just the holidays."

The DADS director wrote the email after someone was concerned that specific religions were being observed in work meetings.  Cecilia Federov with DADS says, "We do not want to violate anybody's civil rights.  Because we do have such a diverse workforce, we just want to make sure that during work hours and work activities, nobody feels singled out or left out.

The email also warns not to celebrate religion during work holiday festivities.  DADS says their intention is to respect all of their employees.

Here is the whole email sent to KETK by a concerned DADS employee:

From: Ahmed,Carol D (DADS)
Subject: Christmas Theme for staff meetings

Our staff represent a diversity of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, a factor which is more evident in some regions than what it may be in others. It is not appropriate at any time for workplace activities to promote or reflect a specific religious belief; religious activities must be limited to non-working hours and periods of time. It is likewise not appropriate that activities intended for full-staff participation promote any one selected religion. This is a season of many prominent religious celebrations----Eid al-Adha for the Muslims, Bodhi Day for the Buddhist community, as well as Chanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa to name but a few----and whether or not your management team is aware of individuals that may have beliefs divergent from the majority, it is a measure of respect and consideration for all staff to ensure holiday festivities do not reflect religious practice. It is also a requirement of the DADS work rules.

I hope each region has the opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of individuals, families, and the program during this holiday season. This has been a year of many challenges, and many rewards. Celebrate, and be thankful for the many opportunities we have had as individuals and as a program to prosper.


Carol Ahmed, Ed.D.
Director of Survey Operations
DADS Regulatory Services
 

Comments News Comments

This memo is about the Christmas meeting and prayer. It must have been addressed due to a complaint. There was no implication outside of it. As a state employee for 25 years I knew Christians and we discussed faith and even prayed but not on state time. I would not want to have say Muslim prayers at a state meeting. I knew Carol she is married to a Muslim but I never heard or saw her speak of her faith. She did and spoke what the tax payer paid her for protecting the elderly.

Dizzybeth
Culture and religion may be different, but culture is often shaped by religion and an expression of it. Will you, or more to the point DADS, allow an italian american to have a crucifix on his desk or an Irish american to have a statue of the Virgin? Are these things not cultural?

yes i would allow it. if someone wanted to display a pentagram (religion) or a rebel flag (culture), i would allow it. i would personally pitty their choice, but i would never deny their right to express themselves. more often than not, it is culture that shapes religion. just compare russian orthadox christians to southern baptists. both are christian in their own right, but whoah what a difference culture makes. you should get out more. it's a big world out there and you are missing it.

There is a separation of church and state in the constitution of this great nation. I don't care how many churches or temples are in my backyard, as long as they are not knocking on my door, they can praise whatever till the cows come home. We have a lot of liberty in this marvelous country of ours and that's why everybody wants to come here. I don't care if they say a prayer or kill a chicken. That doesn't mean you have to participate, I don't. Go get a cup of coffee. Jeez.

Finally, somebody responds that is not afraid to stand up to the evangelicals. right on!!

The is nation was founded on Christian beliefs and should be recognized as such. To deny that is to deny that is to deny the foundation of our Republic. Christmas parties, not holiday parties should go on; other denominations may opt to attend or not. If someone wishes to pray at their desk, it should be allowed regardless of their faith. If Christianity is offensive to some other religions, then go home!!

Maybe you should read up on your history. This nation was founded "under God" not Jesus. Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the God of Abraham. You know, the first half of your King James Version?!? I am a christian, but it saddens me to hear the ignorance of others that seem to pick and choose what verses to honnor. "Thou shalt not judge, lest ye be judged" come off your box and let people live their own lives. What is between me and my God is my business and mine alone.

I do believe that people should have the option to pray where ever and when ever they want to. All religions should have this right. If it offends, don't look or listen. Walk-away. You don't have to participate.

The is nation was founded on Christian beliefs and should be recognized as such. To deny that is to deny that is to deny the foundation of our Republic. Christmas parties, not holiday parties should go on; other denominations may opt to attend or not. If someone wishes to pray at their desk, it should be allowed regardless of their faith. If Christianity is offensive to some other religions, then go home!!

Inform the reporter DADS has a little boy on the MDCP, and how DADS upper management let a person with no training or education in management be a manager. She received a bad review from two regions and she put the blame on her employees. Resulting in her lying about two employees, fixing progress reports, taking away flex time from one employee, and up-grade / money raise from the other. Delibertly making it impossible for the employee to pick her child up from therapy. How a co-worker

WTF!? I notice her last name is Ahmed! Does she wear the Muslim woman garb? If she does then she is practicing her religion in the open daily n submitting everyone to it. It is offensive to non-Muslims, especially the ones who have family and friends who have died at the hands of Muslims!

I have known Carol Ahmed for years and worked under her for several years. She is one of the nicest, most intelligent and honest persons you would ever hope to work for in your life. She does not play favorites and she does not discriminate against anybody. The only things she expects from employees under her are honesty and that they do their assigned jobs to the best of their abilities. I am a male Lutheran and I never felt she looked down on me.

there is a difference between religion and culture. RACIST! if an african american or a mexican american killed some one you knew would you bash the whole race of people and their culture like you just did? think about it and what you have to say before you say it. actions like yours could cause more trouble than they solve.

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