It’s not that often that you come across a case where an employee alleges a hostile work environment based on religion. Sex? Sure. Race? Yep. But religion? Not so much.
Yet, when your employees are faced with the choice “My religion or my job,” it’s time to call the lawyers.
Cause, I mean, there’s proselytizing. And then there’s
And the Czech judge scored my lede a 4.3. Well, the second she starts paying my legal bills, maybe, I’ll give a damn. Until then…
What was I talking about? Oh yes, religious discrimination.
Over the weekend, I read this PA federal court opinion about an atheist who claimed that his boss proselytized to him about religion, even forcing him to wear a badge, which bore the company’s mission statement: “This company is not only a business, it is a ministry. It is set on standards that are higher than man’s own. Our goal is to run this company in a way most pleasing to the lord [sic]….” The atheist claims that he covered up the mission statement with duct tape and, when he refused to remove the tape, the company fired him.
The Court, which initially put the kibosh on the plaintiff’s religious bias, reconsidered and allowed the plaintiff’s claims to survive a motion to dismiss. Continue reading
My new blogging platform and email newsletter have their advantages, especially the newsletter.
For example, when a daily post goes out to my blog email subscribers (and, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that here), one of the analytics I can track is the most-clicked hyperlinks. Welp, in last week’s “Heil Hitler” post, the most popular links were the two that were marked NSFW. That means NOT SAFE FOR WORK. To put this into better perspective, there were three times as many clicks on the NSFW links as there were to the link to the Fifth Circuit opinion I address. Although my analytics don’t literally say it, I will: you guys are hella-twisted.
But, hella-twisted or not, you’re still the best readers on the planet.
Hey, maybe we can just blame those clicks on the plaintiffs’ lawyers who read this blog. (Don’t worry. I love you too. Just not nearly as much). But, I’ll tell you what. One of ’em came through big time by forwarding me a copy of this opinion, which is a great juxtaposition *** Googles “juxtaposition” — nailed it! *** to what I wrote last week about how no reasonable person would construe a single “Heil Hitler” comment from a manager as creating a hostile work environment. Continue reading
Remember that blog post I had from July of last year, the one you contemplated getting tattooed on your back.
Yeah, you know the one. This one, silly. About the Fundamentalist Christian, who, upon filling out his new-employee paperwork, refused to provide a social security number because it would cause him to have the “Mark of the Beast.” So, he sought a religious accommodation, which the company refused to provide because obtaining a social security number is a federal requirement.
Welp, the employee appealed the decision to a federal appellate court?
How you think that turned out? Find out after the jump…
Maybe you’ve heard about it. I’m giving a little spiel today on social media in the workplace with a few friends at an event in Philadelphia. If I play my cards right, I’ll do as little speaking as possible on the dais.
Which means I’ll get my two cents in after the jump and discuss on a hockey coach who was recently fired for posting pictures of Nazi propaganda on Facebook.
Have you noticed a theme here at the blog this week?
I mean, other than the crappy posts.
Well, that and the crotch grabbing.
It’s been all about religious discrimination. Good ahead, scroll down the page, there they are.
And yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it is going to decide EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a case involving an employee who wore a headscarf (or “hijab”) to work for religious reasons, but was told to remove because it conflicted with Abercrombie’s clothing policy. The lower court granted summary judgment to the EEOC. The Tenth Circuit reversed and granted summary judgment for Abercrombie, concluding that the employee never informed Abercrombie that she needed a religious accommodation to wear the hijab at work.
Now, the Supreme Court will have to decide whether an employer can be liable under Title VII for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a “religious observance and practice” only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required and the employer’s actual knowledge resulted from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee.
Prediction: Abercrombie wins. I can’t see how a majority of the Court concludes that anything less than actual notice of a particular individual’s sincerely-held beliefs would create a duty to accommodate them.
Remember yesterday, when I was talking about religious accommodations, I said, “Treat all religions equally.”
That same rule applies to casting out the evil devil of religious discrimination generally. Church!
After the jump, from my bloggerdome pulpit, I’m preaching my religion: employment law. All ye harassers, there is still time to repent! I will bring workplace salvation.
*** dodges lightning strike ***
After scoring a touchdown on Monday night, Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah dropped to his knees and prayed.
Kinda like this.
Except the referees responded with a 15-yard penalty to the Chiefs for excessive celebration, for which the NFL later later accepted blame.
What can employers learn from the NFL’s mistake? A few lessons on accommodating prayer in the workplace after the jump…