Friday, January 06, 2017

Federal Employee Fired For Conducting Baptism Must Rely On Title VII, Not 1st Amendment

In Holly v. Jewell, (ND CA, Jan. 3, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed a 1st Amendment religious discrimination claim by a former maintenance worker at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. Plaintiff Roger Holly, an African American Baptist Minister who was employed by the Park was fired because, while on break out of uniform, he performed a baptism on the seashore adjoining the Park.  The court held that Title VII provides the sole remedy for discrimination in federal employment, and "Plaintiff has not asserted a First Amendment violation that is distinct from his claim that he suffered employment discrimination and retaliation based on his religion."