For some people in the Bronx, religion plays little or no role in their lives. They follow no religious codes and don’t really celebrate religious holidays. For others, however, religion and religious practices are part of their daily lives. They strictly uphold their religious codes. Since most people fall somewhere on a spectrum between the two, it can sometimes be confusing for employers on how best to respect their employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs, but that is the employer’s concern, not the employee’s.
Moreover, should an employer fail to respect an employee’s religious beliefs, an employee can choose to file a religious discrimination lawsuit. These can be difficult lawsuits to file alone, as an employer may try to argue that the accomodations requested are not reasonable or that it is otherwise not required to follow federal employment laws.
It is not quite clear what pharmacy giant CVS will argue in a lawsuit recently filed by a practicing Seventh Day Adventist who says his former supervisor tried to force him to work on his sabbath. The employee no longer works for the pharmacy, but it is unclear if he was fired for not working on the sabbath or if he chose to leave.
The man says that he had not had a problem with management at CVS from 2008 to 2012, but when his supervisor discovered that he was a Seventh Day Adventist, all of his requests to have Saturday off, as required by his religion, were denied.
In addition, the supervisor is accused of making public the employee’s confidential reports of suspected thefts by other employees, which likely put him at odds with his coworkers.
Source: New York Post, “Bronx man says Muslim CVS boss disliked his ‘white boy religion’,” Rich Calder, April 14, 2014