Nathaniel Hawkins of Palmyra lost his contract with Tasty Baking following complaints from Giant that he wouldn’t make deliveries on Saturdays. Hawkins claims that amounts to religious discrimination because he is a Seventh-day Adventist who observes the Sabbath from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday.
Originally Hawkins hired another driver to make Saturday deliveries, but he quit. Hawkins compensated by delivering as soon as his Sabbath was completed Saturday nights or early on Sundays.
Tasty Baking claims Hawkins lost his contract only because of several incidents of subpar service.
Giant contends it should be removed from the lawsuit because it had no contractual relationship with Hawkins.
The suit seeks $1.8 million in damages. Hawkins is suing under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which does not cap damages like the federal Civil Rights Act. However, it’s not clear that independent contractors have the right to sue for religious discrimination under state law. The federal Civil Rights Act protects employees, but not contractors.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Track every step in your promotion process
- Policy not enough: Stamp out co-worker harassment or prepare for court
- 'Offering' chance to quit may still be constructive discharge
- Trying to ensure pay equality? Be sure to account for even slight differences in duties