Religious Discrimination

News & Analysis as of

Mission Hospital Sued By EEOC For Religious Discrimination

Asheville Hospital Fired Employees Who Declined Flu Vaccinations Based on Their Religious Beliefs, Federal Agency Charged - ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Mission Hospital, Inc., a North Carolina corporation based in Asheville,...more

Claims to Accommodate Flying Spaghetti Monster-ism Hit the Wall in Nebraska Court

On April 12, 2016, a district court in Nebraska rejected the religious accommodation claims advanced by a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.1 In denying the religious accommodation claims, the court was...more

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Not a Religion, Says Federal Court

We don’t often report on RLUIPA prisoner cases (recall, that RLUIPA applies in the land use and prison contexts). But a recent federal decision in Nebraska – Cavanaugh v. Bartelt (D. Nebraska 2016), is just too good to pass...more

Do You Have To Accommodate An Employee Who Worships The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Employers are generally aware of their duty to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Whether that means rearranging work schedules, permitting modifications to dress codes, permitting prayer breaks, or any number of...more

Chabad Files RLUIPA Suit Against Toms River, New Jersey

Rabbi Moshe Gourarie and the Chabad Jewish Center of Toms River Inc. (the “Center”) have sued the Township of Toms River, New Jersey, and the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (“ZBA”) in the Federal District Court of New...more

Does The NLRB Have Jurisdiction Over Your University?

Although a religious college recently scored a victory in its battle against unionization, the legal decision and the proceedings that led to that decision could be somewhat troublesome for your educational institution. All...more

Recovery House’s RLUIPA Challenge Fails

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected RLUIPA and other claims asserted by a religious group in Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island (N.D. Ill. 2016). The case stems from...more

Georgia RFRA Vetoed

At a press conference this morning, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that he will veto HB 757, the “Free Exercise Protection Act” that Georgia’s legislature passed less than two weeks ago....more

Back On The Butcher’s Block: Court Chops Down Meat Packing Employer’s Witness List In EEOC Religious Discrimination Case

In a pair of EEOC religious discrimination cases brought in Nebraska and Colorado against meat packing company JBS USA, LLC (which we have blogged about here, here, here, here, here, and here), the lawsuits alleged that JBS...more

Would ‘St. Patrick’s Way’ Qualify for a Workplace Accommodation?

If Saint Patrick walked into your workplace today, how would he and his beliefs be received? As we gather on March 17, amidst the shamrocks and celebrations, let’s not forget why we honor the life of this patron saint. Born...more

Promoting Workplace Diversity in Times of Trouble

The population in the United States – and by extension, the workforce – is becoming increasingly diverse. According to projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2044, racial and ethnic minorities will be the majority in the...more

Title VII and Islamophobia: Maintaining Compliance

Over The Past Decade, There Has Been An Increase In Islamophobia perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination and marginalization. That presents an issue to which all employers must be sensitive....more

All Hell Breaks Loose in Phoenix Satanic Prayer Showdown

In our post last month Satanists Score Victory in Phoenix, we reported on the controversy involving the Satanic Temple’s request to open Phoenix City Council’s meeting with prayer....more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2016

Timely Topics - The death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia will have an uncertain effect on religious institutions. Justice Scalia delivered the majority opinion in Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S...more

Judgment Day Dooms Employer: No New Trial In EEOC Case After Finding Of Failure To Accommodate Anti-Christ Fears

In EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-215 (N. D. W.Va. Feb. 9, 2015), the EEOC brought a religious discrimination suit on behalf of an employee against his coal mining employer defendants, parent company Consol...more

Is a permit requirement for door-to-door solicitation a violation of the 1st Amendment?

The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (the “Adventists”) filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas, contending that a local ordinance in White Hall, Arkansas (the “City”) restricts its right to...more

All 'Jiggery-Pokery' Aside: Justice Scalia's Impact on Employment Law

Allow me to be the palate cleanser to Mitch McConnell's shotgun-wedding-esque "memoir" to Justice Scalia. Barely an hour after the Supreme Court announced Scalia's death, McConnell briefly offered his condolences to Scalia's...more

This Valentine's Day, Telling Your Employees "I Love You" Could Get You Sued

Of all the heartfelt gestures you can make this Valentine’s Day – sending roses, a box of chocolates, or even just a greeting card – perhaps nothing means more than simply saying “I love you.” But an employer who did just...more

Rhode Island Town Sued for Religious Discrimination

The King’s Tabernacle, a Rhode Island Church with a predominantly African American congregation of 20 members, has sued the Town of Johnston, Rhode Island over the Town’s denial of its special use permit for religious...more

National Federation for the Blind Will Pay $25,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Accommodation Lawsuit

Advocacy Group Fired Employee Who Requested Off on His Sabbath, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest organization of blind and low-vision people in the United...more

When is Mixed-Use Religious Exercise?

A Connecticut federal court has issued an important decision in a case involving the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) that could affect how municipalities and courts examine whether certain...more

Yeshiva Sues New Jersey Township for Religious Discrimination

Yeshiva Gedola Na’os Yaakov, Inc. (the “Yeshiva”) has filed a federal lawsuit against the Township of Ocean, New Jersey and the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment following the denial of an application to develop a yeshiva...more

USPS Sued for Seizing Sacramental Marijuana

Oklevueha Native American Church (Church) was established in 1997 in Utah by Plaintiff James Mooney and his wife Linda, who are each of Native American decent. According to the complaint in Oklevueha Native American Church...more

Is a Parsonage a Primary Use? NJ District Court Ponders the Question

Christian Community Chapel Wesleyan Church, Inc. (the “Chapel”) was founded in 2000 and grew quickly to 125 members. Expecting continued growth, the Chapel purchased a 33,000 square foot building with seats for 600...more

Post-Paris and San Bernandino: The EEOC Weighs In on Anti-Muslim Workplace Discrimination

In the wake of Paris and San Bernandino, the EEOC has issued new “Questions and Answers” for employers concerning workers who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern. The agency issued companion questions and...more

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