Sunday, April 27, 2008

Divorce equals firing

This is one of the most screwed up things I've read in a long time. Well, perhaps not, given how many screwed up things that I come across all the time, but it is twisted.

Divorce: Grounds for Dismissal

Kent Gramm, a full professor of English at Wheaton College, in Illinois, is amidst two painful separations.

He and his wife are divorcing. And, because he’s choosing not to discuss the terms of that first separation with his employers — to determine whether the divorce falls within what the college considers to be appropriate Scriptural parameters — he’s resigning from Wheaton in what he calls “a mutually agreed-upon separation. And the alternative of it would be to be fired.”

“This is sort of an additional and very significant separation. I’ve been there for 20 years. I’m very attached to the students,” Gramm says.

“There’s a considerable amount of grief, but I was aware that this would be the consequence, and I’ve been aware of this for a long time. So, in another sense, I’ve prepared myself ahead of time for this.

It's quite bad that when someone goes through a hard period of their life, they have to worry about the work as well.

Wheaton does allow their employees to get divorced, but only under certain circumstances

If an employee or applicant’s divorce falls outside the acceptable parameters for divorce listed in the policy – desertion or adultery on the part of the partner – a divorce is grounds for firing, Jones confirms (or, not hiring). When asked what would happen if an employee were in an abusive relationship, Jones answered that while it’s tricky to speak of hypothetical scenarios, the college would not want to force such a relationship’s continuation. “Desertion can take different forms, as also can adultery. We try to extend all reasonable compassion to the plight that all individuals face.”

So, in other words, there is no explicit allowance for getting out of abusive relationships, but instead you're dependent on the goodwill of the people making the call. And we all know how supportive many people are of victims of abuse - think of all those nice churches that shun wives who ask for a divorce of such grounds.

I can simply not understand how it can be legal to bring in peoples' private lives as a parameter for employment. There are certain types of jobs where some aspect might be relevant (the obvious one that is always mentioned is pedophiles in jobs involving children), but under no circumstances can a divorce be relevant.

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