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Staff fired for internet hosting Christmas occasion throughout COVID-19 fail to point out non secular discrimination

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A pair of workers failed to point out their employer engaged in non secular discrimination when it fired them for internet hosting a Christmas occasion through the COVID-19 pandemic, the sixth U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals has held (Dahlquist et. al. v. Amedisys, Inc., No. 22-5154 (sixth Cir. Oct. 7, 2022)).

In December 2020, the 2 workers of dwelling healthcare agency Amedisys, Inc. held an after-hours Christmas occasion at a personal residence. A number of co-workers attended the occasion. Twenty days after the occasion, Amedisys terminated the employees, discovering that they’d violated firm directives and exhibited “poor judgment,” in response to courtroom paperwork, as a result of the occasion risked exposing attendees to COVID-19. The corporate didn’t fireplace some other workers who attended the occasion.

The plaintiffs sued Amedisys in Tennessee state courtroom in October 2021, alleging the corporate discriminated towards them as a result of they’re Christian and selected to precise their beliefs by internet hosting a spiritual occasion. Amedisys eliminated the go well with to a federal district courtroom, after which the plaintiffs filed an amended grievance alleging discrimination primarily based on train of First Modification rights and retalitory discharge claims, amongst others.

The district courtroom granted Amedisys’ movement to dismiss the plainitffs’ grievance for failure to state declare. On attraction, the sixth Circuit upheld the ruling, noting that the plaintiffs had been the one two attendees on the vacation occasion to be terminated even if different workers attended, which “undermines the plaintiffs’ assertion that faith was a motivating issue” in Amedisys’ resolution, per the courtroom.

The plaintiffs’ different claims had been equally dismissed, together with allegations that Amedisys engaged in a retaliatory discharge in response to the train of protected rights and that Amedisys invaded the plaintiffs’ privateness.

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