We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Federal court upholds firing of Christian bus driver who would not work on Sunday

Catholic World News - August 14, 2012

A federal appellate court has upheld New Jersey Transit’s decision to fire Roger Fouche, a born-again Christian bus driver who refused to work on Sundays.

“To accommodate his request, New Jersey Transit, which operates on a seven-day per week schedule, would have been required to shift some Sunday driving to other drivers,” the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. “This accommodation would have placed an undue hardship on New Jersey Transit as Fouche’s election not to drive on certain Sundays would have resulted in a breach of the seniority provision of the union’s collective bargaining agreement, thus raising a legal issue.”

“Of course, we are respectful of the religious beliefs of an individual who seeks to adjust his work schedule to conform with those beliefs,” the court continued. “Moreover, we do not question Fouche’s sincerity in explaining his understanding of how his religious obligations affected his activities.”

“Nevertheless, we think that Fouche’s good faith in taking a full-time position with New Jersey Transit is questionable because when he took that position he surely knew or should have known from his prior part-time employment with New Jersey Transit that its drivers ordinarily are sometimes assigned Sunday driving duties,” the court added.

According to the ruling, “Sabbath-observant job applicants are not acting in good faith if you apply, even though you have a statutory right,” commented Marc Stern, associate general counsel for legal advocacy at the American Jewish Committee. “That is quite astounding. It is very dangerous.”

“In theory, it is illegal to ask straight out, ‘Are you a Sabbath observer?’” Stern added. “But you can ask, ‘Are you available seven days a week, 24 hours a day?’”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($29,819 to go):
$35,000.00 $5,180.70
85% 15%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mateskub8508 - Aug. 14, 2012 11:47 PM ET USA

    It's a problem of demand for travel as a general question. And that demand can't be avoided in a society powered by profit, so you'd have to just "force shut down" like they do in Me'a She'arim, but the non datim will not be happy about that for sure; thus "religious neighborhoods" appear. But specifically, a Christian should choose the kind of job that allows him the Niedziela and not choose whatever job and then try to force the employer to not take what he believes he is paying for.

  • Posted by: rpp - Aug. 14, 2012 11:38 AM ET USA

    So now we have a religious test for bus drivers. I guess it is doctors and nurses next.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican reform 3 hours ago
Social Media’s Vanity Fair: Danger on every side! 21 hours ago
The Ways of Evangelization March 3
Evangelization and the Gift of Meaning March 3
Two links - moral relativism in elementary schools and charges of "genocide" in the Old Testament March 3

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5