Could a Muslim flight attendant refuse to serve alcohol on a flight and be protected from firing?
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November 29, 2021, 03:46:00 PM

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  Could a Muslim flight attendant refuse to serve alcohol on a flight and be protected from firing?
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Author Topic: Could a Muslim flight attendant refuse to serve alcohol on a flight and be protected from firing?  (Read 651 times)
December's tragic drive
BRTD
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« on: September 28, 2021, 08:36:26 PM »

Thought that recently came to me.
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Primary the Squad
Ray Goldfield
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2021, 10:57:38 PM »

Nope, but the simplest solution for the airline would be to remove her from the position and transfer her to an on-the-ground one - ticket desk or something in-office.
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December's tragic drive
BRTD
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2021, 12:27:39 AM »

Nope, but the simplest solution for the airline would be to remove her from the position and transfer her to an on-the-ground one - ticket desk or something in-office.
Thing is though, the jobs really aren't comparable. Though people tend to think of flight attendants as wait staff, or as the Replacements put it a "Waitress in the Sky" (a song Paul wrote about the abuse hurled at his sister who worked as one), they're actually primarily there for to ensure safety and assist in evacuation if needed, hence why the FAA has a minimum ratio of them to passengers required for each flight.

Incidentially it reminds me of an interesting fact I heard: FAA regulations also require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times, no exceptions. If the pilot or even co-pilot wants to even use the bathroom briefly, thus a flight attendant needs to take their place for that time. The reasoning is to avoid a scenario where a suicidal pilot decides to take the rest of the plane down with them.
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ibagli
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2021, 12:32:39 AM »

Maybe allowing the flight attendant to continue to fly and not serve alcohol would be a reasonable accommodation on a large plane where there were a lot of attendants, but I don't think it would be on a small plane. And the problem for the flight attendant is that they're not going to start out on the job with the seniority to bid for longer flights, so they're going to be on small planes.
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dead0man
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2021, 06:44:43 AM »

If not serving alcohol is a Big DealTM to you, you probably shouldn't take a job that routinely involves serving alcohol.
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Torie
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2021, 08:36:02 AM »

No, unless perhaps reasonable accommodations could be made to accommodate the person. I doubt that the Muslim religion prohibits serving alcohol to non Muslims anymore than the Jewish religion prohibits serving bacon to gentiles, but whatever.
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Donerail
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2021, 09:48:07 AM »

The case here is Stanley v. ExpressJet Airlines Inc., in the Sixth Circuit — it's actually a fairly complex question because flight attendants are almost all union (AFA-CWA) and airline employment is governed by the provisions of the Railway Labor Act. But the upshot is no, the flight attendant lost.
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KoopaDaQuick
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2021, 12:56:05 PM »

Could a smoker who works at a fireworks factory refuse to go outside on their cigarette breaks and be protected from firing?
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Frank
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 08:51:30 PM »

The case here is Stanley v. ExpressJet Airlines Inc., in the Sixth Circuit — it's actually a fairly complex question because flight attendants are almost all union (AFA-CWA) and airline employment is governed by the provisions of the Railway Labor Act. But the upshot is no, the flight attendant lost.

According to the Republican Supreme Court, only right wing 'Christians' have recognized 'conscience rights.'
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Frank
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2021, 08:56:07 PM »

If not serving alcohol is a Big DealTM to you, you probably shouldn't take a job that routinely involves serving alcohol.

Yes, just as if you're an anti-abortion medical doctor/surgeon in a position that might require you to perform an abortion, you should probably be doing something else.
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dead0man
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2021, 11:21:02 PM »

Could a smoker who works at a fireworks factory refuse to go outside on their cigarette breaks and be protected from firing?
no, smoking is not protected the same way religion is

If not serving alcohol is a Big DealTM to you, you probably shouldn't take a job that routinely involves serving alcohol.

Yes, just as if you're an anti-abortion medical doctor/surgeon in a position that might require you to perform an abortion, you should probably be doing something else.
correct.  And if you're gay and getting married, you should probably ask one of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who would be more than happy to make you a cake instead of the one asshole that won't.
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 11:42:25 PM »

If not serving alcohol is a Big DealTM to you, you probably shouldn't take a job that routinely involves serving alcohol.

Yes, just as if you're an anti-abortion medical doctor/surgeon in a position that might require you to perform an abortion, you should probably be doing something else.

Yes, just as if you’re an anti-death penalty medical doctor in a position that might require you to execute the death penalty, you should probably be doing something else.
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KoopaDaQuick
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 11:55:32 PM »

Could a smoker who works at a fireworks factory refuse to go outside on their cigarette breaks and be protected from firing?

no, smoking is not protected the same way religion is

No duh, but so what? You're freely allowed to believe in whatever religion you want, and you obviously shouldn't get fired on the basis of your religion, but the first amendment doesn't mean that you are entitled to a job if you are incapable of doing said job. If I started a religion named Koopism where my believers are completely barred from washing their hands lest they face eternal torment in the 7th Circle of Hell, should I be allowed to work in a kitchen? Or for a less extreme example, what if Koopism forbade its followers from touching dead animal meat? Should a Koopist be entitled to work at McDonald's even though they would be unable to cook anything besides hash browns and freedom fries?
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Del Tachi
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2021, 11:32:57 AM »

Incidentially it reminds me of an interesting fact I heard: FAA regulations also require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times, no exceptions. If the pilot or even co-pilot wants to even use the bathroom briefly, thus a flight attendant needs to take their place for that time. The reasoning is to avoid a scenario where a suicidal pilot decides to take the rest of the plane down with them.

This is far from the primary reasoning for the rule.  Having two pilots always on the flight deck greatly reduces the likelihood of human error compared to sole operation.  Pilots and co-pilots are constantly forced to verbalize flight conditions, control inputs, and reactions to one another in a way that makes them much more salient.  This is the same reason surgery teams include multiple doctors.

More generally, sterile cockpit rules increase flight crew members' attention to essential operational activities.  This is especially true during critical phases of flight (i.e., taxiing, take-off, landing, flight below 10,000 ft, etc.)  Flight attendants can and do enter the cockpit during flights, but it happens pretty rarely.  Pilots leaving the flight deck for any reason is even more unusual.

 
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December's tragic drive
BRTD
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2021, 11:47:26 AM »
« Edited: October 20, 2021, 11:28:41 PM by super easy, barely an inconvenience »

Incidentially it reminds me of an interesting fact I heard: FAA regulations also require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times, no exceptions. If the pilot or even co-pilot wants to even use the bathroom briefly, thus a flight attendant needs to take their place for that time. The reasoning is to avoid a scenario where a suicidal pilot decides to take the rest of the plane down with them.

This is far from the primary reasoning for the rule.  Having two pilots always on the flight deck greatly reduces the likelihood of human error compared to sole operation.  Pilots and co-pilots are constantly forced to verbalize flight conditions, control inputs, and reactions to one another in a way that makes them much more salient.  This is the same reason surgery teams include multiple doctors.

More generally, sterile cockpit rules increase flight crew members' attention to essential operational activities.  This is especially true during critical phases of flight (i.e., taxiing, take-off, landing, flight below 10,000 ft, etc.)  Flight attendants can and do enter the cockpit during flights, but it happens pretty rarely.  Pilots leaving the flight deck for any reason is even more unusual.

There's other reasons too yes but you're referring more to how all flights are required to have both a pilot and a co-pilot. I'm talking specifically about the rule that if one leaves the cockpit than a flight attendant must always take their place. Yes that may not happen that often but when it does that's the rule (and I'm sure it's more common on like international or even intercontinental flights, I doubt it's common for them both to spend 12 straight hours in the cockpit.)

It's also of course due to health risks, like if the remaining pilot is showing signs of a heart attack or whatever, someone needs to be there to observe it.
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90s_kid
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2021, 01:31:48 PM »

I think the most reasonable thing to do would be to not fire the Muslim flight attendant, but yes move that flight attendant to flights where alcohol is not served.  Or have the flight attendant politely explain to passengers that she does not serve alcohol - either because of a religious objection (which I don't think really needs to be publicized) or a phony excuse, that only one flight attendant can serve booze and then to say that she will tell that flight attendant what their order is and she will serve it.  Kinda convoluted but that is the best course of action... regardless of the religion - if the flight attendant didn't want to serve alcohol, let's say because they had been abused at the hands of an alcoholic as a child, then reasonable accomodations should be made.
  No need to fire perfectly good workers for things like this!
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TheReckoning
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2021, 06:47:56 PM »

I think the most reasonable thing to do would be to not fire the Muslim flight attendant, but yes move that flight attendant to flights where alcohol is not served.  Or have the flight attendant politely explain to passengers that she does not serve alcohol - either because of a religious objection (which I don't think really needs to be publicized) or a phony excuse, that only one flight attendant can serve booze and then to say that she will tell that flight attendant what their order is and she will serve it.  Kinda convoluted but that is the best course of action... regardless of the religion - if the flight attendant didn't want to serve alcohol, let's say because they had been abused at the hands of an alcoholic as a child, then reasonable accomodations should be made.
  No need to fire perfectly good workers for things like this!

I mean, it seems kinda stupid that serving alcohol would be against her religion, but telling another person to serve alcohol wouldn’t be.
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90s_kid
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 07:39:03 PM »

I think the most reasonable thing to do would be to not fire the Muslim flight attendant, but yes move that flight attendant to flights where alcohol is not served.  Or have the flight attendant politely explain to passengers that she does not serve alcohol - either because of a religious objection (which I don't think really needs to be publicized) or a phony excuse, that only one flight attendant can serve booze and then to say that she will tell that flight attendant what their order is and she will serve it.  Kinda convoluted but that is the best course of action... regardless of the religion - if the flight attendant didn't want to serve alcohol, let's say because they had been abused at the hands of an alcoholic as a child, then reasonable accomodations should be made.
  No need to fire perfectly good workers for things like this!

I mean, it seems kinda stupid that serving alcohol would be against her religion, but telling another person to serve alcohol wouldn’t be.

When it comes to religion, I guess it's best to have a broad interpretation - like that baker in Colorado, the antigay one - I mean nobody can physically force the guy to bake a rainbow wedding cake ... I mean, it's awfully heavy-handed of the state to push that on him, but he should at least concede that he is a business that only serves people who subscribe to his religious interpretation of the Bible.... but I do not agree he should get a special exemption from a state anti-discrimination statute just because he doesn't support gay marriages.  It comes down I suppose to whether the First Amendment protects the right to NOT engage in speech, and the Court ruled that baking a cake was speech.... I think it was the right ruling, but I hold the baker from Colorado in no high regard either.  He gets his victory, but I wonder if that man took away anything from it... He views himself as the victim of persecution, but maybe he should check out Jesus' teachings a little bit more... he claims to be a Christian but he's going down in history for excluding a whole group of people because of a deep-rooted prejudice.  Not the way I'd want to be remembered.
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Mr. Reactionary
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2021, 10:30:57 AM »

There was a SCOTUS case a few years back where a muslim who wanted to wear a head cover successfully sued Abercrombie & Fitch who had asked her not to wear it if she wanted to work there. It seems like a reasonable accommodation to just have the muslim flight attendant take the order and hand it off to a non-opposed flight attendant.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2021, 08:13:54 PM »

Likely yes because serving alcohol is a relatively small part of the overall job description.  They aren'y a bartender.  This is likely to be a reasonable accommodation.

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