25 February 2020 | An appeal by an Adventist former Walgreens employee suing the pharmacy chain for religious bias was turned away by the U. S. Supreme Court this Monday.
Lower courts had ruled that Darrell Patterson’s request never to work on Saturday placed undue hardship on Walgreens.
Patterson was fired in 2011 for not attending a Walgreens training session held on Saturday.
A federal anti-discrimination law called Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It states employers must “reasonably accommodate” workers’ religious practices. However, this accommodation is not required if it would cause the company “undue hardship.”
Walgreens won in a 2018 ruling in which the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the chain had repeatedly tried to accommodate Patterson’s religious practices and was not mandated to guarantee he would never be required to work on Sabbath.
Walgreens told the court that the law requires reasonable accommodation and does not require companies to “totally accommodate” such needs.