Employees here in Indiana should never have to fear that they are going to lose their job because of their religious beliefs. But this statement also goes for all employees across the nation as well, because any employer who fails to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs could face serious litigation in the form of a religious discrimination lawsuit.
Such is the case for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association union, both of which were named recently in a religious discrimination lawsuit. A former FAA employee filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after he was forced to transfer to another position that required him to work on Saturdays, which conflicted with his religious beliefs. According to the complaint, his employer engaged in retaliatory behavior by transferring him to another job as punishment for quitting the NATCA union, which he also considered to be against his religion.
The man, who is a Seventh-day Adventist, says that his original position adhered to his religions no-work-on-Saturday policy, but says that this wasn’t the case with the new position. When he brought this issue to the union’s attention, citing that he felt this qualified as discrimination, he says the union ignored his complaints and went through with the transfer anyways. Although it’s unknown at this time, the man is likely suing for compensatory damages and might wish to be reinstated to his old position, pending the outcome of the case of course.
For frequent readers of our blog, this may seem like a clear-cut case of workplace discrimination, but it might be more complicated than that. First, the man will need to present evidence that supports his claims. Otherwise, it will continue to be a case of his word against theirs. Working with an attorney will likely help his situation but, as our readers know, it’s the facts in the case that will ultimately decide whether the employee’s rights were violated in this particular case.
Source: Charisma News, "Claiming Religious Discrimination, Air Traffic Controller Sues FAA," Abby Carr, Aug. 13, 2013