Skip to main content

"Beanie Meanie" Lawsuit Dresses Down Religious Garb At Work

An employee begins wearing a yarmulke to work, only he's not Jewish. He's Italian-American. His Jewish co-workers don't like it very much and call him out on it. He eventually gets fired, and then sues the company.

Welcome to what The New York Post is dubbing the Beanie Meanie Lawsuit:
Ciro Rosselli, 29, of Queens, claims in papers filed in Manhattan federal court yesterday that he donned the religious head cover in the office while practicing "theosophy," an obscure spiritual philosophy that holds "there is no higher religion than truth."

But the non-Jewish man's colleagues at McKinsey & Co. apparently thought wearing the Jewish skullcap wasn't kosher -- and allegedly unleashed a torrent of taunts at the Astoria, Queens, resident.

Rosselli claims that his boss sent him an e-mail likening him to Kabbala fan Madonna for his sudden embrace of Judaism, while another co-worker suggested he was just trying "to hide his bald spot."

Madonna and bald spots aside, the suit raises a few interesting questions. Can employees claim religious harassment and/or discrimination if they suddenly decide to don the clothing (or rituals) of another religion (in this case, as a part of a spiritual quest called "theosophy")? Do the other employees in the office who are of that religion have a right to be offended and to make the employee stop? Can you be Jewish if you're Italian-American? Can singing and dancing around the house in your underwear make you Madonna? And who came up with the phrase "Beanie Meanie Lawsuit"? It's totally awesome.


Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…