Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Bullshit Lawsuits

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on December 3, 2008

What is it with people and their religions that they think they are entitled to be exempt from any and every rule if their religion says so? How fucked up must a person be to take a company’s grooming policy and turn it into a discrimination lawsuit? What if his religion forbade him to shower and the company had a “no faul smell” policy? Would that be enough to warrant a discrimination lawsuit? See, this is what is wrong with the American law system. Anyone can sue without anything to loose, as long as they find a lawyer who will take money only in case of a settlement or victory and there are plenty of those around. Make it UK style, where if you sue and you loose you must pay the other party’s legal fees and you will see many of these ridiculous lawsuits just vanish. Now that’s a miracle I believe! See some details below.

A Rastafarian man who refused to shave off his beard or cut his hair to comply with a Jiffy Lube employee grooming policy can take his religious discrimination case to trial, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Supreme Judicial Court reversed a decision by a Superior Court judge who had dismissed Bobby T. Brown’s lawsuit against a Jiffy Lube franchisee before a trial.

Brown worked as a technician at a Hadley Jiffy Lube business owned by F.L. Roberts & Co. Inc.

In 2002, after a new grooming policy was put in place requiring employees who worked with customers to be clean-shaven, Brown told management that his religion does not permit him to shave or cut his hair. Managers then said Brown could work only in lower bays where he did not have contact with customers.

Brown filed a discrimination lawsuit in state court in 2006. A Superior Court judge agreed with the company that it had the right to control its public image and found that it would be an undue hardship on the company to grant Brown an exemption from the grooming policy.

But the Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, saying the company had not proven that no other accommodation was possible for Brown without imposing an undue hardship on the company.


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