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Employment Law (Mgmt 445) Religious Discrimination (Chapter 10) Professor Charles H. Smith Spring 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Employment Law (Mgmt 445) Religious Discrimination (Chapter 10) Professor Charles H. Smith Spring 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment Law (Mgmt 445) Religious Discrimination (Chapter 10) Professor Charles H. Smith Spring 2011

2 Introduction Issues we will cover –What is “religion”? –The employer’s duty to “reasonably accommodate” the employee’s religion which includes what is “undue hardship” for the employer. –Religion as a BFOQ. –Religious harassment. Small group discussions about the incidents set forth on pages as well as Goldman v. Weinberger (pages ).

3 What is “Religion”? Title VII states that “‘religion’ includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.” Case study – Frazee v. Illinois Dept. of Employment (pages ); Peterson v. Wilmur Communications, Inc. (pages ); Chapter- End Questions #4 (page 526).

4 Employer’s Duty to “Reasonably Accommodate” General rule – the employer can discriminate against an employee for religious reasons if to do otherwise causes the employer undue hardship. See list of “reasonable accommodation” factors on page 519. Case studies – Tyson v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc. (pages ); Wilson v. U.S. West Communications (pages ); Williams v. Southern Union Gas Company (pages ); Chapter-End Questions #6 and #8 (page 526).

5 “Undue Hardship” See list of factors on pages Case studies – Trans World Airlines v. Hardison (pages ).

6 Religion as a BFOQ BFOQ defense has two elements under Title VII –The occupational qualification is directly related to the ability to perform the job duties at issue (or that safe and efficient performance would be impossible without it) and –The occupational qualification relates to the “essence” or “central mission” of the employer’s business. Case studies – Corporation of the Presiding Bishop etc. v. Amos (pages ); Pime v. Loyola University of Chicago (pages ). Query – how can a certain religious belief be a BFOQ?

7 Religious Harassment Religious harassment can be manifested in one of two ways –Employee is harassed at work due to his/her religion (or perceived religion – see bottom of page 521); case study – Peterson v. Hewlett- Packard Co. (pages ). –Employee, citing religious beliefs, harasses other employees; case study – Chalmers v. Tulon Company of Richmond (pages ); Chapter-End Questions #3 (page 526).


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