Conscience Clauses, Title VII and the Religious Right of Refusal to Performing Tasks in the Workplace

By Walz, David J. | The Journal of Law in Society, Spring 2019 | Go to article overview

Conscience Clauses, Title VII and the Religious Right of Refusal to Performing Tasks in the Workplace


Walz, David J., The Journal of Law in Society


I. INTRODUCTION

Religion is one of the most controversial and difficult topics for employers and employees to tackle. (1) Because our society has become so diverse and religiously pluralistic, discrimination rates are growing at a rapid pace. (2) According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter "EEOC"), as of 2012 religion based charges have gone up approximately 41% since 1997. (3) In 2014, there were 3,549 charges filed under Title VII alleging religion-based discrimination. (4) While the number of religion-based discrimination charges filed in 2014 (3,549) has slightly declined from the number filed in 2011 (4,151), (5) religious discrimination in the workplace remains a prevalent issue.

One theory as to why there has been an increase in tension between work and religion involves the attacks of September 11, 2001. (6) Since then, Muslim complaints of discrimination in the workplace have risen significantly. (7) But even before the September 11 attacks there was a rise in religious discrimination claims. This was in part due to growing participation in religious activities. (8) According to a Gallup poll over 90% of respondents stated that religion is important to them. (9) Additionally, as mentioned earlier, religious diversity has increased. (10) According to a survey done between the years 1990 and 2001, growth in the United States can be seen amongst religious groups such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. (11) As the growth of religious diversity in the United States increases, conflict between employers and employees is bound to occur. (12)

Within the last year, there have been several notable cases of religious discrimination that have made national headlines. A fraction of these cases have involved Muslim employees declining to fulfill particular tasks in the workplace citing their religious beliefs as preventing them from completing said tasks. One case involved a Muslim flight attendant for ExpressJet Airlines, Ms. Charee Stanley, who claims she was suspended from her job because she refused to serve alcohol, a practice that is against her religious beliefs. (13) Ms. Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC stating that she desired to go back to performing her job without selling alcohol. (14) According to her attorney, Ms. Stanley had not been serving alcohol prior to her suspension due to a religious accommodation she had come to with ExpressJet when she first notified the company of her religious beliefs. (15) The accommodation required Ms. Stanley to make arrangements with her co-flight attendants on how to serve alcohol to customers aboard ExpressJet flights. (16)

Another recent case involved two Muslim men who were fired from Star Transport, Inc., an Illinois trucking company, after refusing to deliver alcohol. (17) According to the lawsuit, Star Transport refused to provide an accommodation to the men, instead terminating their employment. (18) United States District Court Judge James E. Shadid ruled in favor of the two men at which point a jury was convened to determine the extent of the damages. (19) The jury awarded $240,000 in damages to the plaintiffs. (20)

Not every case has returned a verdict in favor of those plaintiffs alleging a failure to provide an accommodation, however. One specific example that acquired national attention involved a clash between a group of Somali Muslim taxi drivers and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. (21) The Muslim drivers had been interpreting the Koranic prohibitions on carrying alcohol to include driving passengers transporting alcohol from the airport to their destination. (22) Those drivers asked the MAC to provide them with a religious accommodation. (23) (One specific proposal would have placed distinctive lights on the roof of taxis that would not transport alcohol. This proposal was initially accepted but later overturned due to the public backlash the idea received). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Conscience Clauses, Title VII and the Religious Right of Refusal to Performing Tasks in the Workplace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.