The 34-year-old Native American said he expressed to his boss/ the business owner discomfort about going to the Bible study and even indicated it was probably illegal, but was told it was a condition of employment for which he would be paid. Although he still wasn’t comfortable with it, as a convicted felony, he badly needed the job and didn’t want to lose it. So he attended the once-weekly hour-long session, conducted by a Christian pastor. He did this for several months, but then finally said he could no longer stomach it and stopped going. He was fired soon thereafter.
In filing his religious discrimination employment lawsuit, plaintiff’s attorney said the case is clear-cut: A non-religious employer can’t require employees to go to a Bible study – paid or otherwise. It can be offered as a voluntary option, but it can’t be mandated as a condition of employment and employers can’t retaliate against workers who choose not to go. The attorney representing defendant business owner, meanwhile, asserts the requirement was not unlawful for at-will employees who were paid to go and it was considered part of their job. Further, defense attorney insists plaintiff wasn’t fired, but rather was an on-call employee who simply found other work while he was still on-call for the defendant. Continue reading