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.
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.”
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.”
Two truck drivers are sometimes required to share the driving on “sleeper runs.” A male employee asked for a religious Accommodation; his religious beliefs prevented him from traveling with a woman he was not married to because of the “appearance of evil” and “hanky panky.” The Sixth Circuit held that the case could be dismissed because the employer’s seniority system was more important than its responsibility to accommodate.
A Catholic hospital secretary expressed her views about gays to an ex-Catholic lesbian who became her boss. Since the reasons for the secretary’s discharge were “inconsistent,” the secretary’s religious discrimination claim was not dismissed.
A prison librarian alleged offensive comments, unwarranted attention and sexual interest by an assistant warden. The court dismissed her case, noting that she did not allege that the assistant warden “requested a sexual act, touched her inappropriately, discussed sexual subjects, showed her obscene materials, told her vulgar jokes or threatened her.”
A male advertising manager complained about sexual harassment by a female general manager. After the employer refused to handle the complaint anonymously, the advertising manager insisted on handling the situation himself. His actions excused the employer from having to fully investigate the sexual harassment claim.