A Jewish postal worker made to work on Sabbath because of staff cutbacks lost an appeal claiming his work schedule violated his civil rights.
Mail carrier Martin Tepper joined the post office in Chagrin Falls, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, in 1980 and became a Messianic Jew a few years later.
For ten years he was excused from working Saturdays, but the letter carriers’ union voted to rescind that accommodation amid pressure from fellow postal workers upset at having to work more weekend shifts because of staff reductions.
Tepper sued the U.S. Postal Service in federal court in Cleveland. He lost and a subsequent appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was denied, with the appeals court ruling Tepper could not prove he was discriminated against or that the post office failed to accommodate his beliefs.
“The removal of the accommodation did not result in a change of title, job status, pay or job responsibilities and conditions,” a three-judge panel ruled. “While Tepper now has to work on Saturdays, this is simply a requirement of the job for which he was hired; it is not an adverse change in employment.”
The appeals court also rejected Tepper’s claim to a civil rights violation, saying he hadn’t proven he was treated differently in his workplace because of his beliefs.
Tepper could ask the appeals court to reconsider or appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
(Source: Associated Press)