Trucker May Bring Religious Discrimination Claim

Title VII protects you from religious discrimination. This means that your employer may not discriminate against you “because of” your religious beliefs. But what does this mean in practice? What “protections” does your choice of religion provide you in terms of your job?

Generally, federal anti-discrimination law provides you three types of protections concerning your practice of religion.

First, your employer must make a reasonable effort to accommodate your religious beliefs in the workplace.

Next, your employer may not impose its religious views on you.

Finally your employer may not take adverse actions against you because of your beliefs.

In a recent religious discrimination case, a trucker – Yabesh Maroko – who was a Seventh-day Adventist was assured by a recruiter that he wouldn’t have to work on the Sabbath (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday). But, after Maroko was hired and went through training making deliveries to Wal-Mart, he was told that because Friday nights and
Saturday were the busiest time of the week, his beliefs could not be accommodated.

The manager in charge of finding Maroko alternative delivery assignments failed to find him a new job. Maroko later learned that the company determined that he had “voluntarily quit.” The trucking company said because he “quit” they were not subject to rules regarding religious accommodation.

The court disagreed, finding that a question exists whether the trucking company could have accommodated Maroko by finding another open position, such as working in the company’s van division.

If you express your need to be accommodated due to a religious belief and your employer fails to make a reasonable effort to work something out, you may be able to bring a claim for religious discrimination. For more information, or if you believe you were the victim of religious discrimination, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employee’s rights attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP.