Employees whose employers turn down their requests for time off to attend religious services can’t just run out and sue for religious discrimination. They have a case only if their employers discipline or discharge them for refusing to comply with work requirements—for example, skipping work to attend services.
Bottom line: If you have a good business reason to turn down a request, do so. If the employee skips work, you may want to reconsider your decision—especially if the employee seems like the type who might sue you for imposing discipline. But if the employee keeps coming to work, there isn’t much to worry about.
Recent case: Pamela Ellis, who is a member of the Pentecostal faith, worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She asked for a regular night off to attend religious services. Her request was denied and she filed an EEOC complaint.
Rather than fight the matter, the VA allowed her to take the night off. Still, she filed a religious discrimination, “failure-to-accommodate” lawsuit.
The court tossed out the case, concluding she had been neither disciplined nor discharged after the VA denied her request. To prove a case of religious discrimination, she had to show that she:
- Had a bona fide religious belief that conflicted with an employment requirement
- Told her employer about that belief
- Was discharged or disciplined for failing to comply with the conflicting employment requirement.
Ellis kept coming to work until the VA changed its mind and accommodated her request—therefore she had no case. (Ellis v. Principi, No. 06-60215, 5th Cir., 2007)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3826/its-not-discrimination-if-worker-wasnt-disciplined "
- Can you sue for harassment if no one actually harasses you? 5th Circuit opens the door a crack
- PHA head is gone, but trail of lawsuits lingers on
- Both love and justice are blind: Consider banning boss/employee relationships
- How to successfully manage FMLA intermittent leave
- Farmers advocating for state temporary worker bill