Articles Posted in Religion


On Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out a surprise attack in Israel that reportedly left over 900 dead. Israel has since responded with a declaration of war.

What does this Middle East conflict have to do with employment law? Continue reading


I’m speaking figuratively, of course. Taxpayer dollars do not support judges bruising and battering litigants who appear in court.

However, the defendant is probably still smarting from this recent Fifth Circuit decision, in which the court overturned a lower court ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s claims that the defendant failed to accommodate his religious beliefs. Continue reading


Last month, following an airline’s loss in a religious bias lawsuit brought by a former employee, a Texas federal judge issued a scathing 29-page decision in which he ordered the airline to have three of its lawyers complete 8 hours of religious-liberty training each. Read this post if you want more background on the lawsuit.

Predictably, the airline appealed the lower court’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. It also asked the sanctioning judge to stay his order requiring training. That last part didn’t go so well.

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 creates a statutory obligation for covered employers to make reasonable accommodations for workers’ religious observances, short of incurring an undue hardship. At a minimum, aggrieved employees generally must establish three elements in a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit:

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About 50 years ago, Congress tweaked Title VII, a federal law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against workers based on their religion. It clarified that employers must “reasonably accommodate. . . an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice” unless the employer is “unable” to do so “without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.”

But what does that mean? Continue reading


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employers from discriminating against employees based on religion. As the EEOC points out, “the law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.”

While the law may not protect folks who pray to flying spaghetti monsters, Title VII can apply to others who are not members of conventional religious groups. As the EEOC notes, “just because an individual’s religious practices may deviate from commonly-followed tenets of the religion, the employer should not automatically assume that his or her religious observance is not sincere.” Continue reading

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