Skip to comments.Adventist, Fired for Sabbath Observance, Seeks Reinstatement and Damages
Posted on 10/21/2004 12:48:09 PM PDT by Tamar1973
Austin, Texas, United States .... [ANN Staff]
An employee fired from Dynacon, Inc. of Bryan, Texas, for religious beliefs protected under federal law is seeking reinstatement to his job. Hector Rivera wants his welder's job restored, along with back pay and punitive damages, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Representing Rivera is attorney Malcolm Greenstein of Austin.
Rivera joined Dynacon in 1988 as a welder and became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in May 2002. He asked for, and received, accommodation for his belief that he should not work on Saturday, the biblical Sabbath. A new supervisor ended that practice in August 2002; when Rivera refused to work on a Saturday, he was terminated.
"This is only one of many examples of illegal discrimination against Sabbath-keepers," said Mitchell Tyner, an associate counsel for the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters. "Every year more than 1,000 Adventists [in the United States] are either denied employment or lose their jobs over their religious beliefs, which are guaranteed protection under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act."
According to Tyner, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports an 80 percent increase in religious discrimination cases during the past five years. Seventh-day Adventists, observant Jews, and members of other faith communities are among those who regularly suffer discrimination for requesting accommodation.
If the job is open seven days a week, don't complain if you have to work each of those days.
It's illegal to force people to work 7 days a week. (The fact that small business owners of various kinds do that voluntarily not withstanding).
Tough issue. I can see it both ways.
1) He took a job knowing what the requirements were. I worked with a Orthodox Jew who was fired for similar reasons (he wouldn't work during the Sabbath and after a year things blew up while he was on-call). No lawsuit for him.
2) Freedom of religion (not freedom FROM religion). He should be free to express his religious beliefs.
This is a toss-up for me. I'm going Kerry on this one (I'm for it, I'm against it, I'm for it). LOL
Bump to the top!!! This stuff up 80% in the last 5 years!!!
Yeah, this is also why there's a constitutional amendment against establishing a state religion.
I'm also an Adventist, and it's not an option for me to work on Saturdays. This isn't just an excuse to get out of work...
For the most part, Adventists like me generally will offer to work (if necessary) other undesirable shifts... extra hours during the week, Sunday, whatever.. I'm more than happy to attempt to make up the slack in whatever way possible. And I always mention my requirements when I interview for a job. Who knows if I've missed out on employment opportunities in the past as a result of this or not, but it seems better to be up front about it.
I don't know the details of this story... outlaw Christmas? Adventists celebrate Christmas too... I have no idea why there would be any attempt on my church's part to outlaw it.
It is illegal to discriminate against someone for their practice of religion. If the job is open seven days a week then the employer obviously must have staffers for the full week and accomadating this fellow is just a matter of scheduling.
I ran into this years ago with a Hindu employer who insisted I had to work Christmas.
It cost him $7200 and legal fees.
This is a truly hard one. Most Christian religions have Sunday as a Sabbath. Saturday is the Old Testaments Sabbath. I guess if you're going to make yourself "different" by following Jewish law, you might want to try to get a Mon-Fri job. My d-i-l is a 7th Day and works in daycare so she has no conflict other than following laws on the Sabbath/Saturday ie: no TV, no buying & selling, no meat anytime etc. I, personally, have a problem with a "Christian" religion that follows Judaic law.
"I'm also an Adventist, and it's not an option for me to work on Saturdays."
Sounds to me like the new supervisor had a thing about Adventists. Apparently it was OK before the new supervisor came on the job. There should always be a way to accomodate people's religious rules, I think.
"I, personally, have a problem with a "Christian" religion that follows Judaic law."
Interesting. I've read the Bible several times, and saw nowhere that the Sabbath was on Sunday. I don't believe Jesus had anything to say about Sunday as the Sabbath.
What "problem" do you have with Christian denominations which celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, and why?
Are you series? That just blows my mind. Christmas is a major cash cow in Williamsburg.
Did they really think they could succeed?
You can't have true religious liberty without a profound respect for minority rights.
Most Americans take their religious liberty for granted. But public opinion no longer supports the basic premise behind religious liberty: that in matters of conscience, the majority has no power. This is why most Adventists don't believe that the government has any business exalting the religious holidays of one religion above another in the public square.
Both Conservatives and liberals alike seem all-too-willing to subject religion to majority vote. I personally am committed to the truly historic Protestant Principle of religious freedom: that we are all responsible, individually to God, for our religious beliefs and worship, that government must stay out of it.
This is what made our country a beacon of religious tolerance and freedom all over the world. This love of religous liberty is what caused the founding of our great nation.
If we deviate from the pattern laid out by our Founders, we will end up going the way of France, that would be a disaster for religious freedom worldwide.
Well, I personally have a problem with "Christians" who follow the pagan Sun god's "holy day" rather than what is laid out in the bible. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation NEVER declares Sunday the day of rests for his true people. But I digress...
This is a truly hard one.
It's not hard at all. The law of the land is that employers must respect the religious convictions of their employees, unless it would be a significant burden to do otherwise and a business as large as the one involved in this lawsuit can't possibly make that argument with a straight face.
What if Mr. Rivera was Jewish? Orthodox Jews also observe Saturday as their Sabbath.
I don't know any 7th Day Adventists, but they should be able to practice their religion freely. Christians are forced to work on Sundays, but everyone quit complaining about it. Nothing used to even be open on Sunday at one time. Remember "blue laws"?
I have a story for you. I am a claims investigator and I had a claim were a guy tried to change the date an estimate for auto repairs was written so it would read that it was written on 12-25 rather than 12-15.
I knew that the particular body shop in question was run by a Muslim, so I called the owner and asked him flat out, "Were you open on Christmas writing estimates?" He replied something to the effect of, "You've gotta be kidding? Christmas is a federal holiday. Everyone was off work that day."
The guy who fudged that estimate got in some trouble with the Dept. of Ins. for filing a fradulent claim.
It's been my experience that most Christians don't care one bit of they have to work on Sunday as long as they can at least go to church in the morning.
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