Friday, March 31, 2017

Fired Hospice Chaplain Loses Title VII Claim In 9th Circuit

In Blair v. Shulkin, (9th Cir., March 28, 2017), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that a Title VII religious discrimination claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs should be dismissed. Plaintiff, Carmen Blair, claimed that she was fired from her position as a chaplain because of her Christian religious beliefs, alleging that her dismissal stemmed from discriminatory and biased attitudes on the part of her hospice team towards her as a conservative Charismatic Christian.  The court accepted the VA's explanation that the firing was because Blair was unable to integrate into the hospice unit team.  It pointed out that "the very basis upon which Blair claims she was
discriminated against—her Christian faith—was a prerequisite for her initial employment."  Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.