First, the Christian-owned craft store Hobby Lobby refused to shut down stores to protect their workers from COVID-19 unless states forced them to do it. CEO David Green even cited a dream about God that his wife had in making his decision to keep stores open.
Now, in a move as cowardly as it is ruthless, the store has fired dozens of workers — via email — at some of its Oklahoma stores. These terminations are permanent, even after the shelter-in-place rules are lifted.
The Frontier, a publication also based in Oklahoma, reports:
“It is with a tremendously broken heart that I’ve been forced to take these unimaginable actions, and I genuinely hope you know that my prayers are with you and your family,” wrote Darsee Lett, vice president of the company’s art and creative division, in a letter to the terminated employees. “It has been such an honor having you on my Team. I truly and deeply appreciate your service to this Department and the Company, and with you the very best as this calamity hopefully ends in the very near future.”
The letter also states that the layoff is permanent, encouraged employees to file for unemployment and stated that a Hobby Lobby representative would come by the employees’ homes to drop off any personal belongings and pick up any Hobby Lobby-issued equipment and badges.
Unemployment. The company is encouraging workers to file for unemployment, while David Green has a net worth of billions of dollars. This purely capitalistic move is made worse by the fact that the Green family has woven their Christian beliefs into their brand. Jesus instructed his followers not to hoard their wealth, so you’d think they would hold themselves to a higher economic standard. Even if it’s just for the optics if nothing else. The very least they could have done was offer a severance package. But they didn’t do that, either.
By comparison, some secular companies are going out of their way to take care of their employees.
Starbucks — the coffee chain that supports marriage equality — is increasing workers’ wages by $2, and paying them for 30 days if they need to stay home. The CEO of Columbia, the sportswear company, is reducing his own salary while his employees receive their regular pay. Hell, even Walmart is offering more scheduling flexibility to employees, allowing them to stay home if they’re sick.
If Walmart — whose founding family is also worth billions while employees make minimum wage — is taking better care of its workers than the Christian store, you know there’s a problem with your ethics.
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