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Three Cases Involve Employee Requests For Religious Time Off
In Leonce v. Callahan, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228 (ND TX, Jan. 3, 2008), a Texas federal magistrate judge granted summary judgement in a Title VII case to a county sheriff's office that refused to accommodate a detention officer's request that he not work on Saturdays because of his Seventh Day Adventist faith. The court found that the county had established that there was no reasonable accommodation that would not have imposed an undue hardship on the county.
In Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority v. Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, (MA Sup. Jud. Ct., Jan. 4, 2008), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the MBTA had violated the state's prohibition on religious discrimination in employment when it refused to to hire a Seventh Day Adventist as a part-time bus driver because he needed Saturdays off to observe his Sabbath. The court held that the MBTA should have facilitated a voluntary swap of hours by employees. Because the MBTA did nothing to accommodate the applicant, the court said it did not need to decide whether requiring an employer to incur more than de minimis cost to accommodate an employee violates the establishment clause. Today's Boston Globe reported on the decision.
Finally, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports on a religious discrimination lawsuit by a Clarksville, Indiana man against a Value City retail store. The employee left his job after the store refused to assure him that he could always have Wednesday nights and Sundays off to attend church services.
From Religion Clause posted 2008-01-05.