Claims of religious discrimination in violation of Title VII are often difficult for employers to defend against because of the Supreme Court's finding that it is "not within the judicial ken" to determine the validity of an employee's religious belief. This deference was recently applied by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Ambrose v. Gabay Ent & Associates, No. 12-5453, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115353 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 15, 2013).
Cynthia Ambrose was a well-regarded receptionist who had worked with Gabay, a medical office, for eight years in the spring of 2011, according to the opinion. At that time, Gabay provided Ambrose with a new name badge. On the backside of the badge, Gabay listed 10 office rules under the heading: "Our Ten Commandments." Ambrose objected to wearing the name badge around her neck because "wearing an altered 10 commandments … offended her religious beliefs because they were not the Ten Commandments proscribed by her religious Catholic faith." Ambrose specifically stated that she found the name badge "sacrilegious." She also claimed that "there was absolutely no business purpose whatsoever … to have to wear a badge with itemized commandments on the back, as no client or patient could see the back of [her] badge."
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