TWU grad alleges discrimination in job rejection from "viking with a PhD"

October 10, 2014

A Trinity Western University graduate says she was the victim of discrimination after a Norwegian wilderness tourism company rejected her application because of her Christian faith. In an email to applicant Bethany Paquette, Amaruk’s hiring manager Olaf Amundsen—who identifies himself as “a Viking with a PhD in Norse history”—cited her degree from TWU as suggestive that she would not fit in with the company culture. Amundsen wrote, “the Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life.” Amundsen resorted to expletives when Paquette signed a subsequent email “God Bless,” describing the phrase as offensive. Amaruk has some unique rules governing its employees; for instance, it prohibits long hair and braids on male workers who are not First Nations or “individuals of Viking ancestry[,] who are free to keep their beard [sic] braided.” Amaruk has issued a statement claiming that Paquette was rejected “solely based on the fact that she did not meet the minimum requirements of the position,” adding that “further discussion after that … would have been a mere expression of opinion.” CBC | National Post