Chick-Fil-A Sued By Employee Who Was Fired So She Could Be ‘Stay Home’ Mom

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Well, who could have seen this coming? Brenda Honeycutt was an employee at the Duluth, Georgia, Chick-Fil-A, when, according to the complaint,  her supervisor, Jeff Howard, fired her so she could be a “stay home” mother. Honeycutt was promoted to General Manager by the previous management and performed her duties in a satisfactory or above satisfactory manner, according to the complaint filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

Dan Cathy, president and CEO of Chick-fil-A, recently said he operates his organization “on biblical principles.”

Stay-at-home mothering is a biblical principle:

Titus 2:4-5  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1 Timothy 5:14  Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;

The complaint claims that during Honeycutt’s employment, Howard “routinely made comments to the Plaintiff suggesting that as a mother she should stay home with her children.” Howard’s pattern of behavior is an inevitable result of allowing your organization to be run “on biblical principles.”

The complaint also alleges a pattern of demoting high-level female employees and placing male employees in those positions. This may prove especially troubling to jurors if it goes that far. The prospect of a long parade of female witnesses testifying about demotions in favor of male colleagues, should persuade the defendants to settle this case.

Honeycutt is represented by K. Prabhaker Reddy of Suwanee, Georgia.

H/T: The New Civil Rights Movement.

54 thoughts on “Chick-Fil-A Sued By Employee Who Was Fired So She Could Be ‘Stay Home’ Mom

  1. As incredibly and ironically funny as this new story about Biblically based discrimination from the Chicken Slingers is, I must say that snorting hot coffee is most unpleasant.

  2. Of course Cathy’s statement about his company’s guiding philosphy were bound to run aground of our Constitution. In our system of laws and governance, religion and government are two distinctly different entities with different goals. Our Founders were educated subjects of the British crown. They knew their English history. They also knew the history of the disasterous convergence of religion and politics in “the colonies” particularly in Salem and environs a century earlier. They sought specifically and deliberately to design a system of government seperated from dependence on religious interpretation while allowing all people to practice their various faiths without sanction or direction from the government. Our business laws reflect our values as presented in that Constitution and are legally superior to those presented by Mr. Cathy’s preferred writings. Chick-fil-a’s management philosophy seems to reflect the values of the Taliban and Sharia Law more than those of the United States.

  3. Biblical instituted misogyny. How useful it has been for Malekind.
    The Pope and his henchmen have been world leaders at it for 2000 years.
    Mohammed is quite good at it too.
    Short of nucleur war and a return to caves, the dominance of males is ending. This is inevitable though still a lengthy process to go.
    Wrapping oneself in a flag is the last refuse of scoundrels….. (Newt claiming he cheated on his wife, because his patriotic fervor was so intense, comes to mind)
    Wrapping oneself in the bible to justify misogyny, is a flea bitten home to
    misogynist scoundrels.

    PS Who knew there was two Ys in misogyny, after I spelled it wrong 4 times I looked in my dictionary.
    Below it is the word Misology : a hatred of argument, reasoning, or enlightenment.
    I think I discovered the RNCs strategy for wooing voters!!
    One must avoid arguments that may penetrate the electorates higher brain functions, and deal only with the limbic system. Limbic in, Limbic out, Limbic in, Limbic out. Simple emotional evoking words, similar to the “Yee Haa”,
    I have heard in so many cowboys movies to move the cattle into corrals, to chew their cud, to eventually be Yee Haad to slaughter.

    Is gross cynicism truly cynicism if it is highly likely true ?

  4. I presume the company now must fire any person who has a tattoo (Leviticus 19:28); And each Chick-Fil-A location must build an outdoor latrine (Deuteronomy 23:13); They need to put signs upon their doorposts proclaiming that the Lord is One (Deuteronomy 6:9); and there must be a whole TON of laws they need to check about when their female employees are “unclean” because we shouldn’t be exposed to unclean women in a food establishment!

  5. Seems to be Walmarts principal principle…… I can honestly say I’ve only eaten their food once…..

  6. “Howard’s pattern of behavior is an inevitable result of allowing your organization to be run ‘on biblical principles.”

    Not necessarily. (1) I think there are a lot of misogynists out there and they use religion as an excuse for doing what they were going to do any way, Maybe that is Howard

    (2) I like to think that I employ Christian principles in my business including support of families. I needed to fill a position. The choice came down to two women of similar age. The childless, single woman was slightly better qualified than the single mom of two pre-teen kids. It made better sense from a purely economic stance to hire the better qualified woman. I went with the single mom because, well, she was a single mom.

    Another time, I hired the single, childless college student who was having a really hard time paying tuition. The firm had set salaries and she couldn’t make ends meet. I paid half her tuition and cost of books out of my back pocket as long as she worked for me. She had a really tough past and needed some help.

    It’s only “inevitable” when being “right” is more important than loving one’s neighbor, when it’s more about programs and profits instead of people. It’s whether one is developing character or developing into a character.

  7. And we all know that everything in a Complaint must be true (and that goes double once it gets on the internet).

  8. Well, who could have seen this coming?
    Anyone who hasn’t been in a coma for the last 10 years or so…….

  9. So when the EEOC looked into this, I wonder why the agency was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violation of the statutes”? Clearly firing someone based on gender would be a violation of the statutes. Maybe it would be a good idea to wait for both sides to weigh in with their supporting evidence at trial before deciding that Brenda Honeycutt was indeed “fired so she could be a stay at home mom.”

    I know that with the comments from CFA’s CEO recent statements it’s easy to want to jump to conclusions, but I’m gonna have to forgo the jumping and wait for evidence.

  10. Roman Berry make an excellent point and I’ve modified the post to more accurately reflect that this information comes from the complaint.

    That being said, the complaint names others: Patty Fernandez, Wendy Blankenship, Connie Gravitt, Denise Owen, and Penney Hinson, who corroborate Honeycutt’s claims. It is reasonable to assume that the attorney-of-record, as an officer of the court, has interviewed these women to ensure the accuracy of the complaint.

  11. Great job David. It appears, if the complaint is upheld that Chick-Fil-A is going to have to dig deep into its religious coffers to pay for their alleged discrimination. It must be God’s will!

  12. That’s what you get for refusing to give people chicken sandwiches on Sunday. We always got Chick-Fil-A at halftime of the Duke basketball games (they had a concession stand in the stadium)–except Sunday games…

  13. These “I can hide my bigotry/prejudices from myself and others by wearing my good Christian disguise” people should all be stripped in front of a jury. I’m sick to death of their hypocrisy and self-delusion.

    You want to fire the woman so you can put a man in her job … fine … go ahead and deal with the consequences but don’t, don’t try to tell me that Christianity made you do it. That only works with other bigots.

  14. Bigotry has many faces. Evil people can be very pleasant to be around, but you must always remember to watch your back.

  15. @Nal: Yep, it’s reasonable to assume that the attorney of record interviewed these women to ensure the accuracy of the complaint. But until the case goes to trial and Patty Fernandez, Wendy Blankenship, Connie Gravitt, Denise Owen, and Penney Hinson are subject to cross, we don’t really have much to go on other than the complaint.

    One thing I am sure of when it comes to lawsuits (or just about any court proceeding) is that people lie.* In this case, either the defendant is lying or the complaintant is lying. I just don’t have anything to go on to tell which it is. I don’t know Honeycutt’s relationship (if any) to Patty Fernandez, Wendy Blankenship, Connie Gravitt, Denise Owen, and Penney Hinson. I don’t know the context of Jeff Howard’s alleged remarks to any of these people concerning the “(Honeycutt) was fired so she could be a stay at home mom.” And I don’t know why the EEOC was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violation of the statutes.”

    Bottom line is I have no idea who is in the right here. A trial would tell the tale but I doubt we ever get to that point. I asked my Magic Eight Ball if there would be a settlement with no admission of guilt which requires both parties to refrain from public comment about the case. Answer? It is almost surely so.

    *I’ve sat and watched in awe as “respected people” including police officers take the stand and lie through their teeth in everything from minor civil matters to full blown criminal proceedings where serious jail time was in the mix. I was naive enough that this sort of thing took me off guard the first few times. Now I expect it, and am rarely disappointed in that expectation.

  16. Chick-fil-A Doesn’t Accept Gays, But Will Gladly Accept Their Money
    Tracie Egan Morrissey

    In a statement released today via its Facebook page, Chick-fil-A has made it clear that while it stands behind the anti-gay statements president Dan Cathy made earlier this week, the company is going to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” Reiterating that the company “appl[ies] biblically-based principles to [its] business,” Chick-fil-A also wants you to know that while it hates the gay lifestyle, it loves gay money, and would like to continue to serve chicken to all dirty sinners “regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

  17. Roman Berry, perhaps you have too much faith if you think that the truth will definitely come out if there’s a trial. What will inevitably happen, though, is that more and more information (the true, the false and the ugly) will come out.

    Administrative Agency decisions, however, do not need to even follow the truth or those overly idealistic issues to the extent of an adversary proceeding, because they do not really follow the same rules. The “judge” in the administrative proceeding is obviously and openly on the side of the agency, and the supplicant/citizen/complainant is clearly the only adversary IN the proceeding. So you have a sentence like:

    The EEOC was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violation of the statutes.”

    and it looks like that means: “There was no violation of the statutes.” But it doesn’t mean that at all. It means that the agency was “unable to conclude” something it did not want to conclude at the outset, and it means that the “information obtained” did not FORCE them to conclude what they didn’t want to conclude. And what information was “obtained”? Only so much as the agency wanted to obtain!

    So you could have an agency, say, whose job it was to determine whether a woman was fired because she was blond. The agency could refuse to consider whether every other woman who was NOT FIRED had darker hair; the agency could allow its investigation to accept or reject any number of statements from any number of witnesses, and the agency could ultimately come out saying: “We couldn’t conclude that she was fired for being a blond” regardless of how much evidence had been OFFERED to prove that point.

    All it really means is that the agency doesn’t want to make the finding.

    Right now the Board on Professional Responsibility for Attorneys in Washington DC has a case in front of them that they don’t want to show to one of their hearing committee members because they don’t want a conclusion — which is practically an automatic conclusion, with no real factual issue involved — and they cannot be forced to say, “We have decided that this attorney has committed an unethical act” but they are obviously afraid to say, “We have decided that this attorney has NOT committed an unethical act,” so they are doing absolutely NOTHING. I spoke with a law professor (of legal ethics) at a prestigious DC Law School who told me point blank that the BPR is [although he did not use the C word] basically just a corrupt organization that is a tool of the big law firms, disciplining and handicapping attorneys the big firms don’t like and protecting them from complaints from any clients they choose to disable. He wrote an extensive well-researched article on just this point and there was no discernible result. When I asked if he would put in an amicus brief for me to mandamus the board, he said he would NOT because it would be a waste of time.

    Agencies are often corrupt organizations but RICO’s do not get filed against them because the courts have their backs.

    What will happen in this case, though, might go differently because of the publicity. Publicity does tend to change things, at times for the better, although obviously often for the worse.

  18. The idea of hiring men over women, of promoting men over more qualified women was rampant until the women’s movement forced it underground. In the early 60’s IBM wouldn’t let husband and wife work in the same area; she couldn’t be promoted to a level higher than that of her husband; no woman got a raise unless her pay remained less than her husband’s. Looks like CFA is working for the return of “good ole days”. May they fry in their own oil (metaphorically).

  19. Oro Lee,

    You are my kind of Christian or human as I prefer to say.
    You did something good, you felt the better for it (as I do now), and they were sensible decisions.

    The mom will work her fanny off to keep that job, assuming all else equal. But she may need help, as mothers with kids do.

    The student too was a good choice, as she will recommend you to her friends as a good employer.

    And you did not presumably have to consult the bible to help you decide.

  20. I know many good Christians. The difference between them and the lot at Chick-Fil-A is marked.

    Here’s a short description to illustrate what I mean.

    A friend of mine keeps a jar of change on his counter. When we leave his house he always grabs a couple hands-full of change and puts the money in his pockets. As we’re walking down the streets of Cleveland and are approached by the many homeless, he reaches into his pocket and gives them money. He never says anything about it so one day I asked him if the jar of change was there on his counter for distribution to the homeless. He said , “Sure, but don’t mention it.” “Why,” I asked, “seems like a good idea to me.” “Because,” he said, ” talking about it might be construed as bragging which seems to me to defeat the whole purpose of ‘feed the hungry’.”

    Good Christians are never sure they’re good enough and are always looking inward checking out their motives. It’s called humbleness.

    Same goes for good Muslims and good Jews.

    See any humbleness in the Chick-Fil-A bunch?

  21. Yes, but dead isn’t a choice … it’s an inevitability wherein all become equal.

    What the heck … let’s have a rally and make a few bucks.

  22. Please follow the progress of this suit and report back. It will be interesting to see if Chic-fil-A has a response.

  23. Blouise

    Works doesn’t get one to heaven. No matter how much you try to avoid it, God will NEVER tolerate the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle. He will love them but not accept what they do.

  24. Jim:

    “Works doesn’t get one to heaven.”

    Then someone should have gotten that memo to Paul of Tarsus ’cause he blew it in that letter to the Ephesians:

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
    works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in

    ~Ephesians 2:10 KJV)

  25. Lesbian conduct is not prohibited in the Bible. Nobody cared what the girls did when they were off in their tent together; since nobody could beget children that way and the property rights were not affected, it hardly mattered to man or god.

    OT and BTW, father-daughter incest was also not prohibited anywhere in the Bible. About a dozen OTHER forms of incest were specifically prohibited, and if you follow the well known legal principle that if a bunch of stuff is specified and enumerated as prohibited, anything left out is obviously OK, father-daughter incest (while the daughter remained unmarried and/or not betrothed) did not violate any of the written laws. Not that I’m suggesting that Chick-Fil-A has to insist upon it for all their employees, but I’m just saying…

  26. mespo727272

    We work because we are saved not to get saved. God created Adam and Eve to tend to the garden but their choice led sin into a sinless work. Christ came to set us free from the bondage of sin but we must accept him as our savior.
    Why didn’t you quote Ephesians 2: 8-9 You obviously read 10. That is exactly how Satan works!!

  27. Malisha, I read somewhere that EEOC doesn’t have the authority to prosecute franchise organizations like Chick-Fil-A, but can (as they did in the case in question) give an employee the go-ahead to begin legal procedings against them, to be determined in court. Not sure how accurate this info is, but it would explain their “finding”.

    Jim and Mespo, Jesus himself insist that works are more important than faith. Check out Matt. 7:21-23 and 25:31-46.

  28. quietpanther

    Obedience is better than sacrifice. All of the works that Jesus talks about is an outward demonstration of inward change. There are many who feed the hungry and clothe the naked but do not know Jesus. There are those who claim to know Jesus and do nothing to help the poor and the needy. But, only those who have accepted (surrendered their life) Christ will enter heaven. Remember the one on the cross whom Jesus said would be with him in paradise. He didn’t do any of those things in Matthew 25. He didn’t have an opportunity to. It was his faith that saved him.

  29. Hey “rcampbell”, Chick-fil-a is not the government they are the private citizens trying to practice their various faiths without sanction or direction from the government!!! So stop comparing them to the taliban you libtard.

  30. I just love it that the Tea Party got behind Cruz…… Not only is he an Attorney…. But Hispanic….. Of Cuban heritage….. But an immigrant to the US….. You got to thank Greg Abbott an Attorney General for Texas……

  31. Now the judges are joining in

    Three Rulings Against Women’s Rights

    By The New York Times | Editorial

    01 August 12

    t a time when abortion rights and women’s access to affordable contraception are threatened by political attacks, judges in three newly decided federal cases failed to preserve constitutional protections for women.

    On Monday, Judge James Teilborg of the United States District Court in Phoenix upheld an Arizona law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April that bans all abortion procedures at 20 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period, which is about 18 weeks after fertilization.

    It is the most aggressive of the previability abortion bans passed recently by a handful of states. It defies binding Supreme Court precedent that prevents states from banning abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb, which generally occurs at about 24 weeks.

    To get around that pesky barrier, Judge Teilborg erroneously characterized Arizona’s outright ban as a permissible “regulation” that limits only “some” previability abortions. To make that argument, he relied, in part, on the fact that the ban contains a dangerously narrow exception for a “medical emergency.”

    The judge also found the state had valid reason to enact the statute, embracing medically dubious claims about when a fetus can begin to feel pain. He was dismissive of realistic concerns that the law endangers women who develop life- or health-threatening medical problems late in pregnancy and that severe fetal abnormalities sometimes cannot be diagnosed before 20 weeks.

    An emergency appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking to stop the law from taking effect on Thursday should be granted.

    In United States District Court in Denver on Friday, Judge John Kane issued a temporary injunction forbidding the Obama administration from requiring a secular, for-profit heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company from complying with the new requirement that it provide employees with contraceptive coverage.

    There is no constitutional precedent for individuals, much less corporations, allowing them to violate generally applicable laws because they may have a religious objection. Conversely, the company’s claim that its owners or officers have a First Amendment right to impose their personal religious beliefs on the corporation’s employees is groundless. The health insurance mandate does not place a substantial burden on religious exercise, so a federal statute protecting such exercise should not be in play.

    The Justice Department argued that the notion of a religious freedom violation should be dismissed, but, disappointingly, Judge Kane declined to do so.

    The third ruling was a decision last Tuesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis. The court, sitting en banc, upheld, by a 7-to-4 vote, a 2005 South Dakota law requiring doctors to misinform women seeking an abortion that they face an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts if they go ahead. This dreadful ruling ignores the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence.

  32. (CNN) — Gay rights activists are planning to hold on Friday a “national same-sex kiss day at Chick-fil-A,” the restaurant chain whose president’s opposition to same-sex marriage sparked a media frenzy.

    “Let’s show Chick-fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage!” organizers posted on their Facebook page.

    Same-sex couples are expected to arrive at restaurants across the country and kiss in protest, then post video or photos of the event on social media.

  33. mespo727272

    Like I said earlier you quoted Ephesians 2: 10 but forgot 8-9. If we could work to get to heaven then it would take the place of what Christ did on the cross. Without quoting 100’s of verses just look at John 3:16 and clearly all glory is in the son and not on us.

  34. Dan Cathy, first of all, has a right to his opinion, and it doesn’t reflect the opinions of every chick-fil-a franchisee out there. Second, where I do agree that what this man did was wrong by firing her to be a stay at home, that just because the Cathy family runs THEIR business based on “biblical principle” I think it’s wrong for you to just assume that Dan Cathy was supportive of the action this one man took.

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  36. I was supposed to have an interview with them today and I didn’t even get to have it because I was told they could not hire anyone with Tattoos….

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