Tag Archives: religion

Religious dress at work – where does the law now stand?

The vexed question of an employee’s right to manifest his religion in the workplace has twice raised its head in the EU courts in recent months. Employers seeking a definitive steer on the question should look away now. Both cases deal with similar facts and contain exhaustive reviews of relevant considerations and authorities, and then … Continue Reading

Threshold for a protected belief under the Equality Act reaches a new low

Does really just anything count as a philosophical belief these days?  An impression you could reasonably take away from the headlines in the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Harron –v- Chief Constable of Dorset Police last week but happily not one completely borne out by closer reading. Mr Harron considered himself to have been discriminated … Continue Reading

Can’t sell alcohol? You’re not the only one…

With the excesses of the Festive Season now depressingly far behind us, M&S bosses may be wondering whether public memories have begun to fade about the outcry that arose following the store’s initial decision (and then swift apology) to allow Muslim shop assistants to refuse to serve pork and alcohol to customers. Certainly, in the … Continue Reading

A Pill not even the Affordable Care Act can force Employers to Swallow

More enforcement concerns loom for the Affordable Care Act as another federal decision keeps employers under a religious group plan from swallowing the pill of providing complete contraceptive coverage to its female employees. In Reaching Souls International Inc. et al. v. Sebelius et al., Case No. CIV-13-1092-D, the plaintiffs provided employees with a group health … Continue Reading

Trouble bubbles after Muslim worker refuses to sell champagne at M&S – the law

It was reported in the UK press just before Christmas that Marks and Spencer was forced to apologise to a customer after a Muslim employee refused to handle alcohol and so declined, politely and apologetically, to serve a customer trying to buy a bottle of champagne. This issue caused a bit of a Twitter storm, … Continue Reading

“The three most important things a man has”, said writer Samuel Butler, “are his private parts, his money and his religious opinions”

In the world of work in the UK there have been many decided cases and much official guidance to employers to the collective effect that if they respect the third of Mr Butler’s list, the Employment Tribunal will let them keep the other two.  So why the uproar around Marks & Spencer last week, given … Continue Reading

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – damaging coverage of new UK guidance on religion in the workplace

“Druids, vegans and green activists should be given special treatment at work, according to “lunatic” advice from the Equalities Watchdog”.  Guess the newspaper?  Under the blaring headline “What an insult to Christians!”, the Daily Mail swaggered back into the workplace arena earlier this week with a searing and almost wholly misleading indictment of the Equalities … Continue Reading

Employer Is Not Required to Accommodate Employee’s Request to Be Permanently Absent on Saturday

Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on their protected class which includes religion.  As such, employers are required to accommodate an employee’s religious observances as long as such accommodation does not cause an undue hardship for the employer.  In determining undue hardship, the United States Supreme Court has found [pdf] that accommodations requiring more than … Continue Reading

No room at the inn for the “fundamental right to discriminate”

After a rare break from crass public utterances, Nick Griffin (MEP), was back on form last week, posting a controversial diatribe on Twitter about our supposed “fundamental right to discriminate.”  Mr Griffin embarked on an ill-considered rant against a gay couple after they won a landmark court case against a Berkshire Bed-and-Breakfast owner for discriminating … Continue Reading
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