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.”
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 Seventh Day Adventist stated that his religion barred him from joining a union. Religious beliefs protected by Title VII do not have to be “acceptable, logical, consistent or comprehensible to others,” but they must be sincere. Sincerity is for the jury to decide.
A library employee was fired for violating a dress code by wearing a cross. She sued under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The court found that the library’s interest in enforcing its dress code did not outweigh the employee’s right to free speech or the free exercise of her religion.
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 Lowe’s Home Center employee discussed her sexual harassment informally with a department manager in the store break room. Whether the employee acted reasonably and followed Lowe’s sexual harassment policy is a question for the jury.
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.