Although employees are entitled to religious accommodation, they are not entitled to accommodation by choice, according to a recent court ruling.
The circuit court’s decision appears to give employers more options in this delicate area, according to experts.
The case involved a truck driver who requested Sundays off to attend religious services. The company countered that it couldn’t accommodate his request on the local route he had been driving. So the company reassigned him to routes that allowed for a more flexible schedule. The new routes paid less, however. The employee quit the firm and sued, claiming both discrimination and retaliation.
A lower court earlier granted a summary judgment for the firm, which the circuit court upheld. The 10th Circuit determined that the employer’s accommodation — allowing the employee to avoid the conflict with his religious beliefs, even if he lost the opportunity for income — was reasonable.