Minnesota Law Review

Note, Pharmacist Refusals: Dispensing (With) Religious Accomodation Under Title VII

Pharmacists with greater frequency are refusing to fill certain prescriptions on religious grounds. These employees contend that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires pharmacies to accommodate refusing pharmacists by allowing other pharmacists to fill objectionable prescriptions. Some employers embrace this view and accommodate refusing pharmacists by sending customers to other pharmacies to have their prescriptions filled.

This Note examines Title VII’s requirement that employers provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious beliefs unless those accommodations would create an undue hardship on the business. Part I outlines the two-prong analysis for evaluating religious accommodation claims once a prima facie case of religious discrimination is established. Part II applies that two-prong analysis to explore the various accommodations available for refusing pharmacists. For each accommodation that objecting pharmacists are likely to find reasonable, the Note demonstrates that the accommodation usually imposes a greater than de minimis cost on the employer, and hence would not be required under Title VII.

The Note concludes by observing that some employers choosing to accommodate pharmacists beyond the obligations of Title VII may be using the law as a pretense to justify policies that some customers and pressure groups find objectionable. This Note’s exploration of the actual requirements for religious accommodation under Title VII therefore serves as a valuable tool to distinguish between employers’ legal obligations and their voluntary employment practices.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited in Al Jazeera Opinion Piece

    A recent Al Jazeera opinion piece that criticizes the Supreme Court’s Daimler decision cites to Volume 97′s lead piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the Al Jazeera piece here.

  • Masthead for Volume 99 Board

    The masthead for the Board of Volume 99 of the Minnesota Law Review is now available. You can view the masthead here.

  • Above the Law Post Highlights MLR‘s Jump in Journal Rankings

    A recent post on Above the Law highlights the fact that the Minnesota Law Review was ranked 11th in the most recent 2013 edition of the Washington & Lee Law Review Rankings. You can read the post here.

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited on Slate

    A recent Slate article on the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the “Moldy Washing Machine” cases, or overturn class certification of those cases in some circuits, cites to the Volume 97 Lead Piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the article here.

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days