Pharmacist's Religious Beliefs
masinter at NSU.ACAST.NOVA.EDU
Wed Feb 9 11:18:42 PST 2000
Eckerd's, the pharmacy (a large chain) designs most of its stores with the
pharmacy counter in the rear of the store. It displays condoms across the
aisle from the pharmacy counter. It claims to operate in this fashion,
and to require the pharmacy cashier, who is frequently the pharmacist, to
ring up condom sales because many would be condom buyers would be
embarrased by a requirement that they take their condoms to the front of
the store where customers buying food, cosmetics and related items pay for
their purchases. Requiring customers to endure the alleged embarassment
is said to invite them to do business elsewhere, and thereby impose more
than a de minimus cost on the store.
The store also appears to be attempting to establish that the pharmacist
had no real interest in the job, and applied only for the purpose of
setting it up for a lawsuit, though that would only seem relevant to
damages, not liability.
An accounting of the proceedings in the Miami Herald can be found by
clicking on www.miamiherald.com, then News, then Miami-Dade, and then
scroll down to the story "Man defends refusal to sell condoms."
Michael R. Masinter 3305 College Avenue
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33314
Shepard Broad Law Center (954) 262-6151
masinter at law.acast.nova.edu Chair, ACLU of Florida Legal Panel
On Tue, 8 Feb 2000, James Maule wrote:
> On the news tonight:
> A pharmacist, who is a Hassidic Jew, has sued Eckert Drug because store policy did not permit him to refer customers seeking to purchase condoms to other clerks. A rabbi explained that the use of condoms, and thus participation in the sale of them, violates theological principles to which the plaintiff subscribes.
> At the end of the report, the reporter noted that the plaintiff had already settled lawsuits agains Walgrens and another national chain, the name of which has already escaped me.
> 1. Why can't he be allowed to refer someone to another clerk, assuming that doesn't put the person back at the end of a long line after standing in line for 15 minutes? (Just advocating a "common sense" compromise... to which the plaintiff was apparently happy to subscribe).
> 2. What happens after he's tried to work at every drug chain? Will he eventually have a "monopolistic control" antitrust type lawsuit against all the national drug chains?
> Mostly a variation on many of the threads that have involved employee religious beliefs competing against employer commercial practices, but this one has this interesting twist.
> Jim Maule
> Professor of Law
> Villanova University School of Law
> Villanova, PA 19085
> maule at law.villanova.edu
> "Vision is the ability to see what is possible before it is obvious."
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