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A mining company based in Pennsylvania has been sued by an employee who claims that the biometric hand scanners used by the business was the "Mark of the Beast" described in the book of Revelation.
Late last month the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on behalf of an employee of CONSOL Energy and Consolidation Coal Company of Canonsburg.
Beverly R. Butcher Jr., a longtime employee with CONSOL and self-professed evangelical Christian, alleges that the recently installed biometric hand scanners at work prompted him to retire.
The EEOC charges that Butcher felt a conflict between his religious beliefs and the usage of the scanners, claiming that the devices involved the "Mark of the Beast."
According to Revelation chapter 13, the Bible describes a beast that has authority on earth during the end times and forces "all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name," (Rev. 13:16-17).
Lynn Seay, spokesperson for CONSOL Energy, told The Christian Post on Monday that while the mining company could not comment on pending litigation, CONSOL respects the religious beliefs of all its employees.
"We do not comment specifically on pending litigation. However, we will say that we respect our employees' rights to their sincerely held religious beliefs," said Seay.
"We implemented the use of biometric hand scanners at several of our mines in order to ensure the accurate compensation of our employees. In appropriate cases we make reasonable accommodations to address any conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs."
Debra M. Lawrence, Philadelphia regional attorney, explained in a statement on EEOC's website the parameters for a "religious accommodation" case like the lawsuit.
"In religious accommodation cases, the standard is not whether company officials agree with or share the employee's religious beliefs," said Lawrence.
"Instead, the focus is on whether the employer can provide an accommodation without incurring an undue hardship."
According to an automated email response sent to The Christian Post, the EEOC could not give comment due to being closed because of the government shutdown.