I think an employer should try to be reasonable (and that's what the law requires as far as I know) but I also can't have half my staff disappearing for 10-20 minutes or more for three times during the workday, especially if I am in a business where productivity is easily measured and has an immediate impact on profit. Other Muslim taxi drivers have tried refusing to pick up blind people with guard dogs or have refused to allow women to sit next to them. So one person's religious freedom or accommodation is often another person's unfair discrimination or special treatment. I heard about the Charee Stanley vs. ExpressJet case while listening to the radio on my commute home. I thought that it was an example of where things have probably gone too far.
A Muslim flight attendant is suing ExpressJet after it suspended her for refusing to serve passengers alcohol. The lawsuit accuses the airline of “revoking a reasonable religious accommodation and wrongfully suspending her from her employment,” the Council on American-Islam Relations Michigan Chapter said in a release Tuesday.
On Aug. 25, 2015, Charee Stanley was placed on unpaid leave after a colleague complained about her refusal to serve customers alcohol — which she did in deference to her religion.
Stanley was hired by ExpressJet before converting to Islam, and was later asked to make arrangements for the flight attendant on duty to fulfill alcohol requests. Stanley poured all non-alcoholic beverages. “It was obviously seen as a reasonable accommodation and it was working for dozens of flights — so it was not an accommodation that was burdensome nor restricted people from getting alcohol on the flight,” Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the CAIR-MI, told the Daily News in an interview.
But in August, after Stanley's new partner complained, the airline lifted the accommodation. Stanley was placed on unpaid leave “and on track for eventual termination for her requesting an accommodation of being allowed to not personally serve alcohol rather than abandoning her religious belief and practice,” according to the lawsuit.
What's your take on these stories?
Has the demand for religious accommodation gone too far?