N.C. Dunkin' Donuts bakery sued for religious discrimination
ASHEVILLE, N.C – A Dunkin' Donuts franchise here will go to federal court to answer charges that it refused to hire an Asheville man who could not work on Saturday because of his religious beliefs.
Darrell Littrell, a Seventh-Day Adventist, applied for a job as a donut maker at the Citi Brands' Arden manufacturing plant in December 2012, the suit alleges. He was later interviewed by the company's plant manager.
In January, 2013 the manager offered Littrell the donut maker position, and told Littrell to report to work the next day, a Friday, at 3 p.m., the suit said.
Littrell said that he could not start work on Friday afternoon, since Adventists observe a Sabbath from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday. The manager then withdrew the job offer to Littrell, the commission alleges.My first bone to pick with this is the way some media sources are reporting this as if it is a giant battle for equal rights for Christians. It's not. It never will be. Jehovah Whiteness and 7th Day Adventists are not now, and have never been Christian denominations. They are offshoots of a religious movement known as Millerites. Yes back in 1833 some Millerites held traditional Christian beliefs. That isn't the way it is now. Today both groups deny basic tenants of Christology. This means they cannot be by definition Christians.
There is of course no reason to expect the Mainstream Media to make that distinction or care. Christian media sources, should be able to get the story right and not pretend that this EEOC filling is some sort of cosmic battle between good and evil. It's not. It's not even a minor battle between religious freedom in general and corporate insensitivity. David isn't going up against Goliath here. Quit trying to make the story into something it isn't.
My second bone to pick has to do with the story and lawsuit. If a man applies for a job, and he knows he has certain religious beliefs that he cannot violate, he might want to bring those up before he is told to report to work.
Here is what I think happened. Times are tough and jobs are hard to come by. Darrell Littrell saw a job advertised. He wanted the job and applied for it. He interviewed. It went well. The boss seemed to like him. Darrell forgot to mention that there is a 24 hour period of the week he can't work. No sense being disagreeable about work hours before getting the job. For some reason it slipped Darrell's mind to ask what shift he would be working.
Then something good happened, Darrell was offered the job and told to report to work. The problem was that Darrell suddenly remembered that he needs sundown Friday to sundown Saturday off from work. So despite the fact that he needed the job, he told the boss he couldn't go to work. The boss figured Darrell didn't need the job that badly and withdrew his offer.
This is not discrimination. Dunkin Donuts is a 24 hour a day, seven days a week business. Obviously they need people to work on the Sabbath. I think the boss knew that he needed people to work the weekend. That's why he hired a guy to work on the weekend. Darrell springs the news he can't work the weekend as soon as he is offered the job, and the boss says "OK, I'll get someone else". Darrell still wants the money from the job, he just doesn't want to show up and work the weekends, so he got himself a lawyer.
Too bad for Darrell. The job is working on the weekends. Maybe if that was a problem you should have mentioned it before you got the job offer. Nobody is discriminating against you because you don't want to work. Nobody is questioning your deeply held religious beliefs. They have a job that involves working the weekend. You don't want to work the weekend. They don't have a job you want to do. There is no reason to sue them.
So what would the "reasonable accommodation" required by the law, look like in Darrell's case? Well according to Darrell's POV someone else would have to work his shift. That means the company would either have to hire someone to do it, or force another employee to work it.
If Darrell believes that working on a Sabbath is a sin, why would he insist on having someone sin on his behalf? If Darrell believes in fairness, and I'm assuming he does since he is arguing that it's fair for the company to let him have the day off, why would he think it's fair to disrupt another employee's work schedule? Don't other people have a right to enjoy the weekend too?