New Lawsuit Highlights Lack of Protection for Employees’ Religious Needs on the Job

Posted on September 15, 1999 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs, pointed to a newly filed lawsuit as the latest instance highlighting the lack of protection for the religious needs of Americans in the workplace.

A lawsuit was filed in federal court last week on behalf of Mr. Edward Pipkin against D.M. Bowman, Inc., a Maryland trucking company. Pipkin is a Mennonite Christian truck driver who informed his employer at his job interview and afterward that his religious beliefs would prevent him from working on Sundays. Despite initial assurances from his employer that his beliefs would be accommodated, Mr. Bowman was scheduled to drive shifts on Sundays. The Rutherford Institute has undertaken to represent Mr. Pipkin in his lawsuit against DM Bowman.

Nathan Diament, director of the Union’s Institute for Public Affairs, issued the following statement in connection with the lawsuit:

Once again, we are seeing the fact that religious Americans are to be faced with choices between their faith and their livelihood. Current
law does not sufficiently protect the religious needs of people on the job. The Orthodox Union is working with concerned members of congress
to address this affront to religious freedom and to ensure that religious Americans are no longer faced with this un-American choice.
The Workplace Religious Freedom Act will be introduced in the U.S. Senate this month by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, led by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and John Kerry (D-MA). Congress must act to put a stop to the kind of offensive behavior perpetrated against working class Americans of faith such as Edward Pipkin, and must act now.