Imagine being fired for refusing to sing Happy Birthday. Now imagine collecting $53,000 for that firing--from a waitressing job. Science fiction? Not exactly. Try religious discrimination in the workplace--1990s style. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has long proscribed such treatment, but lawsuits claiming this type of workplace discrimination were relatively rare for many years. Now claims are on the rise, up 18% over the past five years, and the substance of religious discrimination claims is changing to include some unprecedented fact patterns. This new activity in employment discrimination law, as well as the growing likelihood that employers will opt for sometimes costly settlements to avoid the risk, cost, and bad publicity of a trial, seem to reflect a trend toward greater demands on employers to accommodate workers' increasingly diverse religious beliefs. This trend will likely result in a continued increase in workplace religious discrimination lawsuits in the next decade, but, ironically, will ultimately lead to diminished litigation of this type. This Article details where the law is in this area and predicts where it is headed by examining recent statutory, administrative, and constitutional law developments.
Marianne C. Delpo,
Never on Sunday: Workplace Religious Freedom in the New Millennium,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol51/iss2/6