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Old 11-16-2006, 05:39 AM   #1
Heretic
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Default Religion 2, Private Business 1

...or Return of the Schiavo Attorneys

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?i...C-RSSFeeds0312

Mo. Library Worker Who Claims Religious Discrimination for Working Sundays Wins Lawsuit

Connie Rehm waters her garden at her home in Savannah, Mo., Monday, Oct. 9, 2006. Three years after she was fired for refusing to work on Sundays, Rehm has returned to the staff of her small town's public library, and her employers have received a costly education in employment rights law. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

By DANA FIELDS

SAVANNAH, Mo. Nov 16, 2006 (AP) Three years after she was fired for refusing to work on Sundays, Connie Rehm has won back her job on the staff of this small town's public library, and her employers have received a costly education in employment rights law.

No less a legal team than the same Florida attorneys who represented the parents of Terri Schiavo the brain-damaged woman at the center of last year's right-to-die case took up Rehm's cause, suing Rolling Hills Consolidated Library on a claim of religious discrimination.

A federal jury found in her favor after a three-day trial in May, and last month she was reinstated on a judge's order to the staff assistant job she had held for 12 years before her religious practice and the library's adoption of Sunday hours collided in 2003.

To Rehm, a 54-year-old former junior high school math teacher who still attends the Lutheran church where she and her husband were married 34 years ago, the outcome of her case is a victory for any employee whose conviction against laboring on the Sabbath is tested by workplace demands.

"A middle American, mild-mannered, small-town library person I attribute to the Lord a great sense of humor for having picked me for this test," Rehm mused in an interview at her home in rural Savannah, a northwest Missouri town of 4,900.

Though claims of religious discrimination are growing in number, they were only a tiny segment just 3.1 percent of the slightly more than 75,000 complaints filed last year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The agency is a sort of legal gatekeeper, weeding out baseless claims and attempting to resolve those that seem to present genuine violations of the Civil Rights Act.

Rarer still are religious discrimination cases that wind up in a courtroom. When, as in Rehm's case, the EEOC determines that a violation did occur, both sides typically prefer settlement to arguing their positions before an unpredictable jury.

"As a plaintiff in a trial, you run the risk of no recovery. As a defendant, you run the risk of being found liable and having to pay damages," said Rehm's attorney, David C. Gibbs III of the Florida-based Gibbs Law Firm. The firm takes cases like Rehm's for the Christian Law Association.
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:27 AM   #2
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1. The public library is not a private business.
2. What's the problem here?
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:21 AM   #3
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You gotta be kidding me.

On the other hand, does this mean I can sue for having to work on Halloween and the summer solstice? SWEET I'M RICH!
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:26 AM   #4
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Yes, if you are in a government job, and they fire you over a religious practice you made them aware of... and they change policy so that it interferes with your religious practice, leading to you being fired... yes you can sue for your job to be reinstated.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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Yeah, the whole premise of getting rich from lawsuits like this falls apart if the boss has a functioning brain:

WannaBeRich: "I'm a pagan, I'd like Halloween off and Summer & Winter Solistice"
Boss: "Great, you can work Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter then"
WannaBeRich: "D'oh!"
Boss: "And don't forget to show up at 5:30am on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get ready for the massive number of old ladies who are going to standing outside the door for the Xtreme-Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls"
WannaBeRich: "D'oh! D'oh!"
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by FafnerMorell
Yeah, the whole premise of getting rich from lawsuits like this falls apart if the boss has a functioning brain:

WannaBeRich: "I'm a pagan, I'd like Halloween off and Summer & Winter Solistice"
Boss: "Great, you can work Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter then"
WannaBeRich: "D'oh!"
Boss: "And don't forget to show up at 5:30am on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get ready for the massive number of old ladies who are going to standing outside the door for the Xtreme-Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls"
WannaBeRich: "D'oh! D'oh!"
That would work if the businesses weren't closed due to federal holidays. But yeah, I think that's a great arrangement.
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Faf
Boss: "And don't forget to show up at 5:30am on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get ready for the massive number of old ladies who are going to standing outside the door for the Xtreme-Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls"
LMAO! Isn't the industry term for that day "Black Friday"? I heard that the other day, and that is the only thing I could think of as a meaning.
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Everclear
LMAO! Isn't the industry term for that day "Black Friday"? I heard that the other day, and that is the only thing I could think of as a meaning.
Yeah, that's Black Friday.

As Ced points out, there can be issues about the boss doing this around federal holidays (again, more of an issue for a place like a library), but for hourly workers, it shouldn't be that tough to manage this. In this situation, the lady wanted Sunday off. That shouldn't be too tough to manage (they're not expecting her to work 7 days a week, I presume).
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by celedine169
You gotta be kidding me.

On the other hand, does this mean I can sue for having to work on Halloween and the summer solstice? SWEET I'M RICH!
I don't see where she received any monetary benefit from this suit. It just looks like she got her job back.
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wildane
I don't see where she received any monetary benefit from this suit. It just looks like she got her job back.
Damn it Wild, your going to screw up Heretics vision of free money the American way with you get what you work for if you keep it up.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:09 AM   #11
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Oops, sorry....

Down with tort reform!!
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"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." - Thomas Jefferson
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by wildane
1. The public library is not a private business.
2. What's the problem here?
1) even more reason for it to be wrong
2) It isn't the employees place do dictate the policy of the employer. If you don't like it, don't work there. This is like the 'refusing to sell contraceptives' cases.


Originally Posted by wildane
Oops, sorry....

Down with tort reform!!
lol
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Heretic
It isn't the employees place do dictate the policy of the employer. If you don't like it, don't work there. This is like the 'refusing to sell contraceptives' cases.
1) Why wouldn't a government entity be bound by federal law?
2) This isn't a case of employees dictating policy, it's a case of employees holding employers to established federal employment laws.
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by brigiid
Why wouldn't a government entity be bound by federal law?
What law?
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:07 PM   #15
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Federal law that prohibits discrimination based on religion, law that prohbits intereference with worship, law that requires fed employers to make resonable accomodation for religious needs (non-inclusive of undue hardship).
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Heretic
What law?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII.
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:20 PM   #17
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Its kind of funny that Heretic thinks this way but its evidence of how young he is.

I remember when there was very little IF ANYTHING open on Sundays, especially bars. (and it was mostly because of federal laws if Im not mistaken)
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:54 PM   #18
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Oh, I doubt there were ever any federal blue laws, but it was hard to find stuff open on Sunday in years past, that's for sure.
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