This story irks me:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Choosing her religion over her work cost a Rossville woman her job.I cannot see how the firing can be seen as anything but de facto discrimination - even if the company gives a legitimate, ostensibly non-discriminatory explanation for it. As I have said before, regarding similar situations, I am sure that Ms. Sands would have been willing to work out some sort of deal with her employers to work a different day that might not be as popular with her co-workers...like, say, Christmas? Bottom line? Until someone tells me that the company forces Christian employees who are on probation to come in on Christmas, this firing was just wrong.
At least that's what Loretta Sands contends in an employment-discrimination lawsuit that appears headed to trial.
Ms. Sands maintains she was fired from her position as a medical service coordinator at the Travis-based Community Resources because she took off two days in October 2005 to observe the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hashanah.
Community Resources counters Ms. Sands, now 58, was fired for violating the company's attendance policy. Ms. Sands took off Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, 2005, despite receiving permission to be absent only one day.
Ms. Sands had been hired two weeks earlier and was on probation at the service provider for Staten Islanders with special needs, court papers said.
... According to court papers, Ms. Sands, who is Jewish, began working for Community Resources around Sept. 19, 2005. Shortly thereafter, she asked for two days off to observe Rosh Hashanah -- the beginning of the Jewish new year and one of the holiest times of the year.
After consulting her supervisor as well as Community Resources' director of human resources and chief operating officer, she received permission to take off one day. Because she was still on probation, Ms. Sands was technically not entitled to any time off, court papers said.
Despite those conversations, Ms. Sands took off both Oct. 4 and 5, 2005, and did not call in to work either day.
When she returned Oct. 6, 2005, she was fired, allegedly for violating Community Resources' attendance policy.
Ms. Sands subsequently filed a lawsuit, alleging she was discriminated against because of her creed.