Monday, March 12, 2018

11th Circuit: Employer Offered Reasonable Accommodation

In Patterson v. Walgreen Co., (11th Cir., March 9, 2018), the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a suit alleging religious discrimination and retaliation, held that Walgreens had offered reasonable accommodations for the religious needs of a Seventh Day Adventist employee whose beliefs did not permit him to work on Saturday. The employee, a training instructor, was fired in the aftermath of his refusal to conduct an emergency training session on a Saturday.  The court said in part:
To comply with Title VII, an employer is not required to offer a choice of several accommodations or to prove that the employee’s proposed accommodation would pose an undue hardship; instead, the employer must show only “that the employee was offered a reasonable accommodation, ‘regardless of whether that accommodation is one which the employee suggested.’” ...
Walgreens decided to terminate his employment only after he failed to conduct the emergency training session, insisted that Walgreens guarantee that he would never have to work on his Sabbath, and refused to consider other employment options within the company without such a guarantee.
[Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]