Seventh-Day Adventist lost job because he couldn't work Friday afternoons, suit claims

Michelle Massey Nov. 30, 2010, 1:00am


A Seventh-Day Adventist is suing his former employer after losing his job as a bus driver because he couldn't work after sunset on Friday afternoons.

Claiming religious discrimination, Robert E. Antoine filed suit against First Student Inc. on Nov. 23 in federal court in New Orleans.

When day light savings time ended and standard time started in November 2009, sunset occurred at approximately 5:13 p.m. That Friday, Antoine informed dispatch that he could not work his third route because that would entail working after sunset, which was against his religious beliefs.

Antoine asked for accommodations that included having another driver work the third school for him or becoming a bench driver on Friday afternoons. He claims he informed his employer that the accommodations would only be necessary through February.

He claims that his accommodation requests were denied.

Antoine claims he was terminated from his position in January for refusing to work on his Sabbath Day.

The defendant is accused of violating Antoine's civil rights through discrimination and by failing to make reasonable accommodations for Antoine's religious beliefs.

Anotine is seeking damages for back pay, interest, bonuses, pension, lost benefits, front pay, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation.

He is represented by Victor Farrugia in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04398

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