A Muslim flight attendant recently filed an employment discrimination complaint against her employer, ExpressJet, because she claimed that it unlawfully refused to accommodate her religious beliefs. The flight attendant, Charee Stanley, claims that it would violate her religious beliefs if she served alcohol to passengers on flights. According to Ms. Stanley, ExpressJet suspended her because she refused to serve alcohol to passengers.
Ms. Stanley claims that before her suspension she had worked out an arrangement with her co-workers, at the direction of her supervisor, where her co-worker would serve alcohol to a passenger, instead of Ms. Stanley, if the passenger ordered an alcoholic beverage. Ms. Stanley says that this arrangement worked just fine until a co-worker complained that Ms. Stanley was not doing her job. This same co-worker allegedly also said in her complaint that Ms. Stanley carried a book with “foreign writings” and wore a headdress.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires employers to accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees provided that the accommodation does not create an undue hardship for the employer. Ms. Stanley contends that her requested accommodation would not create an undue hardship for ExpressJet because she and her co-workers were managing just fine until this one co-worker filed a complaint.