Firefighter Fired For Refusing Vaccination, Accommodation

Brett Horvath was employed as a driver/pump operator by the City of Leander Fire Department in Texas. Horvath is an ordained Baptist minister and objects to vaccinations as a tenet of his religion. In 2014, two years after he was hired, the Department adopted an infection control plan that directed fire department personnel to receive flu vaccines. Horvath sought an exemption from the directive on religious grounds, and the…

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Not Religious Discrimination To Refuse Muslim CO’s Request To Wear Khimar

Linda Tisby began working as a corrections officer for the Camden County, New Jersey Correctional Facility in 2002. In 2015, Tisby reverted to the Sunni Muslim faith. On May 1, 2015, Tisby reported to work wearing, for the first time, a traditional Muslim khimar, a tight fitting head covering without a veil. Tisby’s supervisor informed her she was not in compliance with the uniform policy and could not work…

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Employer Reasonably Accommodated Beliefs Of Muslim Corrections Officer

Ashfaq Chaudhry is a Sunni Muslim and a correctional officer employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), which has at all times been aware of Chaudhry’s religious beliefs. Sunni Muslims perform five prayers each day: before sunrise; between noon and 2:00 p.m.; an hour before sunset; right after sunset; and between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The prayers last about five minutes. Chaudhry routinely offers these…

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Officer’s Sun-Worshiping Atheism Not A Religion

Marshel Copple was hired by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as a correctional officer in 2009. As his probationary period was about to end, Copple posted the tenets of “Sun Worshipping Atheism” on the Web and on Facebook. Copple created the religion in 2008, though it then had a different name, the Unfired Religion. As set forth in Copple’s postings, a Sun-Worshipping Atheist “does not believe in…

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NYPD’s No-Beards Policy Falls Because Of Inconsistent Administration

Fishel Litzman, a probationary officer with the New York Police Department, follows the rules and traditions of the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish community, and his Orthodox Jewish faith prohibits him from cutting or trimming his facial hair. His facial hair naturally grows out to be one inch from his skin. NYPD’s Patrol Guide Procedure 203-07 generally prohibits police officers from growing beards but makes exceptions for undercover duties, medical conditions,…

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Applicant’s Views On Homosexuality, Not His Religion, Basis For Employment Decision

An applicant referred to anonymously in a court’s opinion as “Farhan Doe” sued the New York Police Department, alleging he had been turned down for employment because of his religious beliefs. In 2009, Doe applied for appointment as an NYPD cadet. A NYPD psychologist found that Doe was psychologically unsuitable for appointment due to a combination of factors including: (1) Depression because psychological testing suggested the presence of depressive…

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Officer Cannot Grow As Long A Beard As He Wants

Kenneth Wallace began working for the Philadelphia Police Department in December 1996. He became a practicing Muslim in 1998; in May 2003, Wallace submitted a memorandum to his supervisor in which he indicated that he would begin to wear a beard in observance of his religious beliefs. Beginning in 1999, the Department implemented Directive 78, an internal policy which set forth the Department’s requirements and prohibitions for all police…

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State Ruling On Sick Leave Confinement Policy Binds Federal Court

The Village of Hempstead, New York has a sick leave confinement policy that requires police officers using sick leave to be confined to their residence for the majority of time while on leave. Dawn Borum, a police officer with the Village, filed a state court lawsuit contending that the sick leave confinement policy unconstitutionally deprived her of her right to leave home to attend religious services. In the lawsuit,…

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