Trucker David Virts refused to work with women during "sleeper runs" because of his religious beliefs. After his first refusal, he was warned. After his second refusal, the company fired him. He sued, citing religious discrimination, but the court tossed out his claim. Reason: Employers don't have to sacrifice the seniority provisions of a collective bargaining agreement to fulfill a worker's accommodation request. (Virts v. Consolidated Freightways Corporation of Delaware, No. 00-5501, 6th Cir., 2002) The best offense in these situations: Tell the employee that the requested accommodation is unreasonable and would result in undue hardship on the company. Then strengthen your case by offering alternative accommodations.
- Budget cuts forcing layoffs or reorganization? Take care to spell out justification
- Don't fear shifting to 'Get-Tough' reviews, but be consistent
- Beware asking applicants about medical histories before making job offer
- Normal pregnancy isn't an ADA-covered disability
- Better treatment after claim? That's hardly punishment