A white supremacist was demoted from a supervisory position because his employer feared he would not evaluate and discipline fairly. The Court ruled for the employee because an employer “cannot avoid liability for taking an adverse employment action based on the employee’s pure religious beliefs, unaccompanied by acts.”
Allstate agents were required to keep their branch open on Saturdays under a new policy. Two Jewish employees quit because of the new policy. The employees lost their religious accommodation case because they were not fired.
Costco’s interest in promoting a “neat, clean and professional image” outweighed an employee’s belief that her facial piercings needed to be displayed. The Court found that “religious accommodation amounts to an undue hardship when it would impose upon an employer more than a de minimus cost.”
A Muslim driver requested a longer lunch break on Fridays in order to attend prayer services. His employer permitted him to bid for another schedule; two were available which would enable him to attend services. The court found that the issue is not which Accommodation is better; the question is whether the employer’s Accommodation is reasonable. In this case the offered Accommodation was reasonable because the employer did not want to violate the collective bargaining agreement.
An employee assistance counselor, whose religion frowns upon gay relationships sues employer for failure to accommodate religious beliefs because it would not excuse her from counseling about gay relationships. The employer decided that the Accommodation was not reasonable because it would create an uneven workload. The jury awarded over $2 million. The Fifth Circuit reversed finding the Accommodation would cause an undue hardship.
A jury awarded $170,000 to a nursing administrator who was barred from applying to a position at a nursing home because she was not a member of the Church of Christ. The Sixth Circuit reversed finding that the employee did not meet State certification requirements for the position. She lacked management experience required by the State.
While the 10th Circuit found that the Church’s actions could be viewed as “offensive” and incorrect, the church autonomy doctrine “prohibits civil court review of internal church disputes involving matters of faith, doctrine, church governance and policy” made for ecclesiastical and not secular reasons.
Hewlett-Packard fired an employee after he refused to stop posting scriptures that condemned homosexuality in response to the Company’s diversity initiative. The Ninth Circuit found that Title VII does not protect such postings, especially since “good business practices are appropriately promoted by Hewlett-Packard’s workplace diversity program.”
An office worker sought an injunction because her employer failed to accommodate her religious practice of ending some conversations with: “Have a blessed day.” The Seventh Circuit found that use of the phrase is not a requirement of her religion and held that the employer did not have to satisfy an employee’s every desire.
Whirlpool is not required to permit time for Muslim factory workers to break for sunset prayers because it would cause an undue hardship. Whirlpool argued that it “could not afford to have so many employees off the production line at the same time.”