Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. court gives green light for Adventist’s workplace discrimination trial

(ANN) A Seventh-day Adventist school bus driver in the U.S. state of Louisiana has won the right from a federal appeals court to proceed with a workplace discrimination case over his observance of Sabbath.

Robert Antoine last week was granted a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans against his former employer First Student Inc., the largest school bus company in North America.

Though he had informed his supervisors of his request to not work on Friday nights, the court found that First Student had not followed up on its offer of swapping his shift. He gave proper notice for his Friday night absences, but was later terminated for absenteeism.

A district court dismissed the case, in which Antoine filed suit in January of 2010, in November of 2011. Last week’s ruling by the higher appeals court means the case can now move forward. 

“This demonstrates how hard it can be for a person to just get a trial,” said Todd McFarland, who serves as an associate general counsel for the Adventist Church’s world headquarters and argued the case for Antoine in September. “A lot of times just getting a trial is half the battle.” 

Seventh-day Adventists observe the biblical Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. 

Federal employment law in the United States says an employer must make “reasonable accommodations” for the religious observances of employees, as long as it doesn’t have to “incur undue hardship.” ... ► Read the full article by Ansel Oliver in ANN│Adventist News Network

► Other articles:

 Robert Antoine v. First Student, Incorporated, (5th Cir. 2013)Original documentv│lex

Seventh-day Adventist’s religious bias lawsuit reinstated. By Judy Greenwald │Bussines Insurance

Antoine v First Student, Inc. Case No. 11-31126 (C.A. 5, Apr. 10, 2013)The Judicial View

Antoine v. First Student, Inc. By Stewart, Demossand Graves. April 10, 2013. 

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