SW Legal Educational Publishing

Chicago P.D. Blue: Cop Must Protect Abortion Clinic or Move
Description Police officer's suit for religious discrimination dismissed. He failed to take advantage of right to move to another district in the city so he could avoid contact with abortion clinic protection duty required of officers in his district. His supervisors did not have a duty to exempt him from such assignment given his right to transfer.
Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words Religious Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Chicago police officer, Rodriguez, stated his religious objection to abortion to his superiors. He asked not to be assigned to help protect abortion clinics except in case of emergency. His supervisors attempted to comply with his request until one day a personnel shortage caused him to be assigned to a clinic, an assignment he accepted under protest. He filed suit against the city for religious discrimination in violation of Title VII.
Decision Suit dismissed. The city had "a responsibility to make a reasonable accommodation of Rodriguez's religious belief or to show that any accommodation would result in undue hardship." The city met its obligation. Its contract with the police officers' union allowed an officer to request a transfer to another district with no loss of pay or seniority. Rodriguez could have moved to a district where there was no abortion clinic. He failed to take advantage of this option and relied on his supervisors' good faith efforts not to assign him to protect clinics, which they did except when there was a personnel shortage.
Citation Rodriguez v. City of Chicago, 1997 WL 536096 (N.D. Ill.)
975 F. Supp. 1055 (N. D. Ill., 1997)

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