Macy's Worker Fired for Keeping Sabbath Day

A Macy’s worker in California is suing the retail giant for wrongful termination, alleging that she was fired because she refused to work on Sundays in religious observance of the Sabbath.

In 2007, Lanie Bradfield, who worked at the cosmetics department of Macy’s in Ventura County, asked her supervisor to adjust her part-time schedule in order that she could observe the Sabbath.

Initially, her supervisor agreed to the religious accommodation for Bradfield, who has worked at Macy’s for 15 years. But when her supervisor was promoted, Bradfield was unable to avoid being scheduled to work Sundays and eventually was fired for refusing to give up her religious commitment to observing Sunday as the Sabbath.

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Bradfield has filed a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for seeking religious accommodation.

The suit was filed in Ventura County Superior Court, alleging the violation of state laws.

Both California and federal law require employers to provide reasonable religious accommodations. California law specifically mentions the right of workers to seek accommodation for Sabbath observance and other religious holy days.

“The most critical religious liberty issue in America today is that companies are forcing employees to choose between their religion and their job,” Bradfield’s attorney, Alan J. Reinach, executive director of the Church State Council, said in a statement Thursday.

“Sabbath observance has been a central part of both Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years. No employee should be forced to choose between obedience to God and keeping a job.”

Reinach is an attorney affiliated with Pacific Justice Institute, a California-based legal defense organization specializing in religious freedom cases.

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