Balint v. Carson City, Nevada
Prof. Steven D. Jamar
sjamar at LAW.HOWARD.EDU
Tue Nov 17 13:04:14 PST 1998
This decision clearly continues the anemic approach to "undue hardship"
under which almost any inconvenience is enough to meet the standard. Here,
since the accommodation would have disrupted a working non-discriminatory
system, the hardship was felt to be undue.
Bad decision. But then, I think most of the accommodation decisions
applying the undue hardship defense in favor of a defendant are poor.
Note the radically different approach of the courts to accommodating the
non-religious employee in the religious secular employer setting. There, it
seems, no accommodation can be too much.
Rick Garnett wrote:
> 144 F.3d 1225 (9th Cir. 1998).
> An employee sued under Title VII for religious discrimination. The Court
> held that the employer was not required to alter an existing, bona fide,
> seniority based system of allocating work shifts to accommodate a
> sabbath observer's religious needs.
> The Court acknowledged that an employer has a duty to accommodate
> religious practices unless it would cause "undue hardship." However, it
> noted that it is not an unlawful employment practice to apply different
> "terms, privileges, or conditions" of employment under a bona fide
> seniority system. The employer argued that, given the seniority system,
> ANY accommodation requirement would impose an undue hardship.
> There was no duty to accommodate the employee's need not to work on
> Saturday's even if the particular accommodation had only a de minimis
> impact on the employer's sytem.
> Any thoughts? The Ninth Circuit has apparently sua sponte en banc-ed
> this case.
> Rick Garnett
Steven D. Jamar
Professor of Law
Director, Legal Research & Writing Program
Howard University School of Law
2900 Van Ness Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
United States of America
vox: 202-806-8017 fax: 202-806-8428
email: sjamar at law.howard.edu
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