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Employees fired for internet hosting Christmas occasion throughout COVID-19 fail to indicate spiritual discrimination

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A pair of staff failed to indicate their employer engaged in spiritual discrimination when it fired them for internet hosting a Christmas occasion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the sixth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals has held (Dahlquist et. al. v. Amedisys, Inc., No. 22-5154 (sixth Cir. Oct. 7, 2022)).

In December 2020, the 2 staff of residence 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 that they had violated firm directives and exhibited “poor judgment,” in accordance with courtroom paperwork, as a result of the occasion risked exposing attendees to COVID-19. The corporate didn’t fireplace another staff who attended the occasion.

The plaintiffs sued Amedisys in Tennessee state courtroom in October 2021, alleging the corporate discriminated in opposition to them as a result of they’re Christian and selected to precise their beliefs by internet hosting a non secular occasion. Amedisys eliminated the go well with to a federal district courtroom, after which the plaintiffs filed an amended criticism 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’ criticism 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 staff attended, which “undermines the plaintiffs’ assertion that faith was a motivating issue” in Amedisys’ choice, 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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