Even a true “Pastafarian.”
You know, being a client of the Blogger King has its perks. (That’s me. I’m the Blogger King). When I’m not litigating and counseling on employment-related issues, I’m taking blog post requests and emailing weekly updates of HR goodies that don’t make it onto the blog.
But, with my DropBox and Pocket chock full of recent cases, I’ll summarize the recent biggies.
Yesterday, I had one of those moments. You know the ones.
For me, it was when a client asked me when I was going to blog about the Muslim workers in Colorado who were denied prayer breaks and, then, allegedly fired for protesting.
So, I did what any self respecting employment-lawyer-blogger would do: I Googled “Muslim Prayer Employee Protest Colorado Fired,” and I promised a client-inspired Wednesday post.
The bottom of the first page of this recent federal court opinion in EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc. really grabbed my attention:
In December 2008 or January 2009, Edward Briggs became Star Transport’s Human Resources Manager. He received no training on anti-discrimination laws, was not aware of any exceptions to the “at will” employment policy, had never heard of Title VII, and had no understanding of the company’s obligation to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Gene Ozella was Star Transport’s Personnel Manager from 2008 to 2011; he also received no training on anti-discrimination laws…
How do you think this religious discrimination case is going to end for the employer?
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…