Pharmacist's Religious Beliefs

Eric Treene treene at BECKETFUND.ORG
Wed Feb 9 10:11:18 PST 2000

Since the pharmacist's rights here come from Title VII, it is worth asking what would happen if a female pharmacist objected to selling magazines like Cosmopolitan or Playboy that exploit women's bodies.  As with condoms, a customer asked to go to another clerk or pharmacist--even without a reason given--might feel a
little embarrassed.  But I think she should be, and probably would be, accommodated without having to go to court.  And since Title VII does not merely bar religious discrimination, but affirmatively requires accommodation, the protections for religious objections should be at least as strong.

Eric Treene

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
> 610-519-7135
> maule at
> "Vision is the ability to see what is possible before it is obvious."

Eric W. Treene
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
1350 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Suite 605
Washington, D.C.  20036
(202) 955-0095

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