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Employer Cleared of 'Religious Harassment'

Oregon court overturns earlier ruling.

Key point. Most states prohibit discrimination by employers against employees on the basis of an employee's religion (religious organizations generally are exempted from such a ban). Some states interpret religious discrimination to include religious harassment.

The Oregon Supreme Court reversed a state agency's conclusion that a business owner who "witnessed" to an employee and invited him to church was guilty of "religious harassment." An evangelical Christian (the employer) owned his own painting business. He believes that he has a duty to tell others, especially nonbelievers, about God and sinful conduct. This includes informing others that on the basis of their lifestyles they are sinners. The employer hired another worker. He invited the worker to church at least twice each week, told the worker that he was a sinner and was going to hell because he lived with his girlfriend and ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1996

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