Could you legally be fired if you were an observant Christian and refused to work on Sunday? No, that would be a classic case of wrongful termination and religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, of course. Some employers, however, appear to be unaware that many observant religious folks don’t celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, but instead do so between sundown on Friday through sunset on Saturday. Most people know that Jews follow this traditional practice, and Muslims worship on Friday. Members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday.
Working in a warehouse can be tough enough without 90-degree heat to contend with. Last Friday was just such a day in Mira Loma, and workers at a warehouse there operated by Olivet International Inc. took two or three heat breaks, as they say was customary at the company. Last week, however, ten of those workers found themselves abruptly suspended, indefinitely, for taking a five-minute head break.
There are many strategies people attempt when they’re dealing with a hostile work environment. Some people who experience sexual harassment or discrimination complain right away, but others don’t want to make waves. When interactions at work become sexually charged, many try at first to play along as if it were ordinary banter -- and banter back.
A multi-year battle between prosecutors in suburban Chicago has taken its next step toward resolution. In 2011, the chief state’s attorney for McHenry County was accused by a special prosecutor of misconduct involving allegations that he gave special treatment to friends accused of criminal behavior and that he had his employees perform political work on county time. He was ultimately exonerated after the special prosecutor failed to prove his case in two separate trials.
Often enough, the outcome of a lawsuit depends at least in small part on the type of court that hears it. Part of litigation strategy in employment law and other areas is choosing whether to bring a case in state or federal court, if both have jurisdiction, along with whether to file individually or as a class action. Both plaintiffs and defendants try to gauge which court is more likely to be sympathetic to their case, whether state or federal law is more favorable to their position, and simply which court is more conveniently located.