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Woman claims her religious accommodation was revoked by airline

Many passengers in Florida and elsewhere may enjoy an alcoholic beverage while they are on a flight. Serving beverages was recently a problem for a flight attendant who works at ExpressJet in another state. She claims she was subjected to religious discrimination because of her Islamic beliefs.

The plaintiff began working for the airline about three years ago as a flight attendant. Approximately two years ago, she became an Islamic convert. While she was studying her religion, she soon realized that the religion forbade her from consuming and serving alcohol.

Part of the plaintiff's job included her serving drinks to passengers, so she approached her superior and asked for an accommodation. She was allegedly told by the airline that when she was on flights, another attendant would serve the drinks instead of her. This arrangement was apparently working out well until a co-worker complained that the plaintiff was not fulfilling all of her job duties. The complaint also claims that the plaintiff wore a headdress and had a book that contained foreign characters.

The plaintiff claims that she received a letter telling her that her request for a religious accommodation would no longer be honored, and she was put on an unpaid leave and told that she may be fired after one year. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on the woman's behalf because Express Jet had revoked her religious accommodation. Employees in Florida and elsewhere should never have to decide between their jobs and their sincerely held religious beliefs. Those who feel that they are in that situation may wish to consult with someone knowledgeable in employment law to discuss their options.

Source: cnn.com, "Muslim flight attendent claims discrimination", Emanuella Grinberg and Carma Hassan, Sept. 6, 2015

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