Keep the Ten Commandments, Lose Your Job: Macy’s Sued for Religious Discrimination

Thousand Oaks, CA – A Ventura County woman has filed suit against retail giant Macy’s, alleging that she was fired on account of her religious commitment to observing Sunday as the Sabbath, and refraining from work on that day.

Lanie Bradfield was a fifteen year veteran of Macy’s, and a sales professional in the cosmetics department. She had been highly praised and often awarded for her achievements. In 2007, Mrs. Bradfield asked for religious accommodation for her religious observance of Sunday. As a part time employee, her supervisor had no problem adjusting her schedule. But when her supervisor was promoted, the trouble began, leading to her termination for refusing to work on Sundays.

The suit was filed in Ventura County Superior Court, alleging the violation of state laws against religious discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for seeking religious accommodation. Both state and federal law require employers to provide reasonable religious accommodations. California law specifically mentions the right of workers to seek accommodation for Sabbath observance, since this is a common problem.

Representing Mrs. Bradfield is Pacific Justice Institute affiliate attorney, Alan J. Reinach, Executive Director of the Church State Council. Reinach stated, “Mrs. Bradfield’s situation is, sadly enough, all too typical. The most critical religious liberty issue in America today is that companies are forcing employees to choose between their religion and their job. Sabbath observance has been a central part of both Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years. No employee should be forced to choose between obedience to God and keeping a job.”