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MOORE v. A.E. STALEY MFG. CO.

September 26, 1989

GERALD G. MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
A.E. STALEY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, an Illinois Corporation, a/k/a STALEY CONTINENTAL, INC. and LOCAL 837, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, Defendants


Marvin E. Aspen, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff Gerald Moore filed this action against A.E. Staley Company and Local 837, Allied Industrial Workers of America, AFL-CIO, alleging that the defendants had engaged in religious discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Each party has filed a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we deny plaintiff Gerald Moore's motion for summary judgment, and we grant summary judgment in favor of each defendant.

 Background *fn1"

 Plaintiff Gerald Moore ("Moore") has been an employee of defendant A.E. Staley Company ("Staley") at its Decatur, Illinois, plant since April 28, 1976. Defendant Local 837, Allied Industrial Workers of America ("Union") represents the Decatur facility's production and maintenance employees in collective bargaining.

 Moore is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Adventist Church members refrain from working during their Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. Moore did not abstain from working on the Sabbath until the middle of 1985. However, in late 1984, Moore advised the Union that he wished to avoid being scheduled for work on his Sabbath. He gave this same notice to Staley in June 1985.

 Moore filed charges of religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1985, alleging that Staley and the Union had failed to reasonably accommodate his religious beliefs. After receiving a "right to sue" letter from the EEOC, Moore filed an action in this Court. Moore claims that Staley and the Union have violated the religious discrimination prohibition of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

 The agreements have also included scheduling provisions. Each of the bargaining agreements have provided that employees work a forty hour week consisting of five eight-hour days. The vast majority of employees are scheduled to work any five of the seven days per week. A few of the most senior employees can obtain first-shift jobs, which are scheduled for Monday through Friday. Moore does not have sufficient seniority to obtain a first-shift job and is subject to being scheduled for work on any five days of the week.

 The method for determining the particular five-day schedule for each employee changed after the termination of the 1980 agreement. The 1980 agreement left the scheduling of employees to the discretion of the supervisor. During the 1983 negotiations, Staley and the Union agreed to a scheduling procedure in which Staley no longer assigned employees to specific days of work. The new system allowed employees within a department to select their own schedule. Staley and the Union agreed that Staley would have no authority to modify or reject a schedule, as long as the employees submitted a schedule providing a qualified operator for each day, shift and job. In the event that the employees failed to submit a properly completed schedule, the supervisor could complete the department's schedule by department seniority, level and qualification. (1983 CBA Par. 224). This scheduling system was retained in the 1986 collective bargaining agreement.

 The scheduling system has two related goals. First, the system is designed to prevent a supervisor's bias or favoritism from influencing scheduling decisions. Second, the system operates to create a more equitable distribution of the days in which employees are required to work. Saturday is the most sought after free day; under the new system, employees have rotated free Saturdays.

 Since 1983, Staley's employees have scheduled the days of the week that each employee is required to work. Since the time Moore requested a religious accommodation from Staley, the employees in plaintiff's department have submitted a complete schedule. As a result, Moore's supervisors have not had an opportunity to schedule the days of the week in which Moore works. Unfortunately, Moore has occasionally been scheduled for Saturday work under the employee controlled system.

 After Moore first requested an accommodation in 1985, Staley considered various ways to avoid scheduling Moore on Saturdays. Moore's position at the time required him to work one out of every nine Saturdays. Staley proposed various accommodations. First, Staley suggested that Moore be transferred to a different job level on the same shift. However, as the Union pointed out, Moore could not be shifted up or down without violating the seniority and job bidding procedures of the collective bargaining agreement. Second, Staley proposed to change Moore's shift, but leave him at the same job level. However, this transfer would also run afoul of several provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

 Even though the Union believed the proposed accommodations violated the collective bargaining agreement, the Union presented the plan to its membership, in an attempt to obtain a voluntary accommodation for Moore. The Union membership rejected the proposals. Staley and the Union agreed to encourage voluntary swaps by other employees whenever Moore was scheduled to work on a ...


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