Paying for Refusing

„We are proud to support the rights of workers to equal treatment in the workplace without having to sacrifice their religious beliefs or practices. It’s fundamental to the American principles of religious freedom and tolerance.”

With these words, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination, welcomed the outcome of a lawsuit in which it intervened on behalf of employees who were fired because they refused to carry out work that conflicted with their religious beliefs. The jury awarded the workers $240 000!

The case involved a bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple citing religious reasons. The bakery, which won with case with the assistance of an American government agency, was awarded $ 240,000 in damages. That’s America!

Oh, excuse me. I meant another case. That was a case in the US state of Oregon. The bakery didn’t get any money. Rather, the bakery was sued and had to pay $135,000 in damages. They justified their refusal to work on account of religious beliefs.

Of course! I’m thinking of the case involving Kim Davis. She’s the city clerk and registrar who refused to sign wedding certificates for homosexual couples, because homosexuality runs contrary to her Christian faith. She was awarded $240,000 in a case won by the Obama administration. That’s America!

No, no, that’s not it. That was a suit filed in the US state of Kentucky; Kim Davis was already in prison!

The case I want to relate was resolved in the US state of Illinois. The dispute involved two Muslim truck drivers who had refused to deliver beer because that would have violated their religious beliefs under Islamic law. For that type of work refusal, $240 000 was awarded. The truck drivers, Mahad Mohamed Abass Hassan and Abdkiarim Bulshale, were each awarded $20,000 in damages in addition to $100,000 in punitive damages, along with back pay. Of course, that case involves something very different than Christian fundamentalism, whatever that is.

(Translation: William Wires)

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