Statute and Case Law Relationship Paper
Michelle R Wilson
April 5, 2006
Anti-Discrimination Laws were enacted to "promote fairness, equality, and opportunity within the workplace." More distinctively, these federal employment laws prohibit employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender, national origin, color, disability and religion. The same laws also prohibit employers from striking back against those persons who filed claims of discrimination.
There are several civil rights statutes that employers must become familiar with ...view middle of the document...
This interpretation of the U.S. Constitution has already been established by numerous lower courts, but by looking at the wording of the first amendment, it would appear that this broad interpretation is not what the Constitution is prohibiting. The first amendment clearly states the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion” (Author Unknown, 1791) and the placement of the Ten Commandments is not done by a law from Congress. These are found in "numerous displays of the Ten Commandments and similar religious symbols on federal property, including in federal courthouses, the United States Capitol, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, national monuments and national park lands" (Kozlowski, 2005). These historical buildings and their symbols only reflect the fact that the Ten Commandments were a founding part of our legal system, and the demonstration of these roots is not an encouragement of any particular religion.
Sherbert v. Verner 374 U.S. 398 (1963)
Adell H. Sherbert, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, was fired by her South Carolina employer because she would not work on Saturday. In the Seventh Day Adventist, this is a Sabbath day of her faith. She was unable to secure other employment because she would not work on Saturdays. Adell Sherbert filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits under the South Carolina Unemployment Compensation Act, which provides that a claimant is ineligible for benefits if he has failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable work when offered him. The State Commission denied Ms. Sherbert’s application on the basis that she would not accept suitable work when offered. The courts ruling as seen below:
State Supreme Court held: As so applied, the South Carolina statute abridged appellant's right to the free exercise of her religion, in violation of the First Amendment, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 399-410.
(i) Disqualification of appellant for unemployment compensation benefits, solely because of her refusal to accept employment in which she would have to work on Saturday contrary to her religious belief, imposes an unconstitutional burden on the free exercise of her religion.
(ii) There is no compelling state interest enforced in the eligibility provisions of the South Carolina statute, which justifies the substantial infringement of appellant's right to religious freedom under the First Amendment.
(iii) This decision does not foster the "establishment" of the Seventh-Day Adventist religion in South Carolina contrary to the First Amendment. (findlaw.com April 3, 2006)
In the case listed above there was additional information provided. That being the Adell Sherbert was not initially required to work Saturdays. In was not until a couple of years into her employment that a six-day workweek was required by the textile mill. In addition, the appellant did seek...