Lawyers often run across stuff that is, well, odd.  Curious acts and practices are the stuff of which lawsuits are made, and we get used to reading about them.  Even so, when I read about an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit against a Long Island company that allegedly requires workers to engage in a practice known as “Onionhead,” it gave me pause.

“Onionhead” is another name for a belief system called “Harnessing Happiness.”  Why does it have that name?  Who knows?  This crucial, threshold question has not been adequately answered. 

Is it because the belief system is layered, like the skin of an onion

The lawsuit alleges that employees had to follow “Onionhead” practices that included praying, reading religious texts, burning candles, and discussing personal matters with co-workers.  Ugh! 

Is it because there is some bizarre connection to the 1958 Andy Griffith movie of the same name

I hate scented candles.  And, in my work experience, the only prayers I ever heard sought deliverance from slow clocks and sadistic supervisors. 

Is it because the burning candles irritate your eyes and make you cry

But the oddest allegation is that “Onionhead” requires you to tell fellow employees “I love you.”  Whuh?  Of course, liberally dropping “I love yous” at the workplace, whether to management or co-workers, is a colossally bad idea on more levels that we can possibly count.  But among the thousands of other problems, doesn’t the “Onionhead” belief system value truth?  There is simply no way that any American worker — much less somebody working on Long Island — actually likes, much less loves, every one of their fellow employees.

Is it because, among the other unusual requirements, you have to adopt a hairstyle that includes an onion-like outcropping from the top of your head?

Does anyone know why it is called “Onionhead”?   

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