Question: Thornton worked as a manager at a Connecticut retail store

Thornton worked as a manager at a Connecticut retail store. In accordance with his religious beliefs, Thornton notified his manager that he could no longer work on Sundays as required by company (Caldor, Inc.) policy. A Connecticut statute provided that: “No person who states that a particular day of the week is observed as his Sabbath may be required by his employer to work on such day. An employee’s refusal to work on his Sabbath shall not constitute grounds for his dismissal.” Management offered Thornton the options of transferring to a Massachusetts store where Sunday work was not required or transferring to a lower-paying supervisory job in the Connecticut store. Thornton refused both, and he was transferred to a lower-paying clerical job in the Connecticut store. Thornton claimed a violation of the Connecticut statute. The store argued that the statute violated the Establishment Clause (see Chapter 5) of the First Amendment, which forbids establishing an official state religion and giving preference to one religion over another or over none at all. Ultimately the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
a. Decide. Explain.
b. Do the religious accommodation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act violate the Establishment Clause?

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  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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