Monday, January 19, 2015

Employee Who Objected To Biometric Scanning As Mark of the Beast Wins $150,000 Verdict

The Clarksburg Exponent Telegram reports that a jury in a West Virginia federal district court last Thursday awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages to a former employee of Consol Energy (the mining operation of Consolidation Coal Co.) in a Title VII suit charging failure to accommodate his Evangelical Christian religious beliefs. Beverly R. Butcher Jr., a laborer at the mine, objected to biometric hand scanning to track time and attendance, believing that it involves the Mark of the Beast forbidden in the Book of Revelation. The company however relied on a letter from the manufacturer of the hand scanner assuring that it does not assign the Mark of the Beast, and suggesting that objecting employees scan their left, instead of their right, hand.  The company refused other accommodations suggested by Butcher, and the EEOC sued on his behalf. (See prior posting.) In addition to the jury's damage award, the judge will still determine back and forward pay. Defendants plan an appeal.

UPDATE: The 4th Circuit affirmed the district court's award of damages in U.S. Equal employment Opportunity Commission v. Consol Energy, Inc., (4th Cir., June 12, 2017).