Workers at Berry Plastics in Rome, Ga., wear stickers noting the number of days the plant has gone accident-free. As the number neared 666, employee Billy Hyatt alerted his boss that he would not be wearing that day’s sticker. Reason: Revelation 13:18 in the Bible says “666” represents Satan.
When day 666 arrived, Hyatt asked for a religious accommodation. The boss, instead, gave him a three-day suspension. When Hyatt returned, he was fired.
Hyatt sued, citing religious discrimination, noting his “sincere religious belief that to wear the number 666 would be to accept the mark of the beast and be condemned to hell.” He’s seeking back pay, front pay, benefits and costs.
The lesson: C’mon, people! This is a classic case where a simple accommodation—let him wear the “665” sticker for two days—could have avoided a messy lawsuit and PR black eye.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Relying on evidence to back up termination? Don't lose it
- Can we fire an employee for refusing to take a lie detector test?
- Former Rochester schools chief, now in Chicago, under fire
- Supreme Court: Collective-bargaining agreements can force workers to arbitrate discrimination claims