Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis isn’t the only person whose religious beliefs clash with her job duties. Here’s a private sector case:
(CNN) A Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith.
She wants to do her job without serving alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith — just as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.
“What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it’s incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely,” said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Stanley, 40, started working for ExpressJet nearly three years ago. About two years ago she converted to Islam. This year she learned her faith prohibits her from not only consuming alcohol but serving it, too, Masri said.
She approached her supervisor on June 1 and was told to work out an arrangement for someone to fulfill passenger requests for alcohol.
It seemed to be working out until another flight attendant filed a complaint against Stanley on August 2 claiming she was not fulfilling her duties by refusing to serve alcohol, Masri said. The employee complaint also said Stanley had a book with “foreign writings” and wore a headdress.
The complaint about “foreign writings” and the “headdress” sound like bigoted bullshit — if the report is true, the complainer is likely a trouble-making asshole.
On the other hand, why should other flight attendants have to take up the slack for Stanley’s refusal to serve alcohol? As an occasional passenger, I’m under the impression that duty it is a significant rather than incidental part of the job, at least on US airlines.
I’m not a lawyer, but Stanley’s attorney’s assertion that “no one should have to choose between their career and religion” sounds like nonsense. Employers should make reasonable accommodations, but if your religion forbids you from fulfilling a fundamental part of your role, you should find another line of work, just like Kim Davis.
What say you?