Friday, October 23, 2015

Court Denies Class Certification In Title VII Religious Accommodation Suit Against GM

In Robinson v. General Motors Company, (ND TX, Oct. 21, 2015), a Texas federal district court  refused to certify as a class action a Title VII suit seeking to require General Motors to allow unpaid days off for observance of holy days by employees whose religious beliefs prohibit them from working or receiving compensation (e.g., vacation pay) on their holidays.  The suit was brought by two employees, one a member of the Tyler Sabbath Fellowship and the other a member of a Messianic Jewish congregation. The court dismissed the suit, saying:
Here, the Court has no way to ascertain the class under Plaintiffs’ definition since the requested class includes any GM employee who might request unpaid religious leave in the future....  Such a class is not adequately defined or ascertainable.
However plaintiffs were given leave to file an amended complaint.  Reuters reports on the decision.