Ohio Agencies Settle Religious Discrimination Case

September 5, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Federal authorities have announced the settlement of a religious discrimination lawsuit against the state of Ohio, two of its agencies and a union local.

The defendants did not properly respect the rights of workers who objected to union support on religious grounds, the lawsuit alleged.

Specifically, the defendants were charged with not allowing workers who were not affiliated with certain churches to make a charitable donation instead of paying union dues or related fees. Members of certain churches opposed to unions have been allowed to make the alternate payments, the lawsuit charged.

If approved by the court, the proposed settlement would require religious accommodations of state employees with religious objections to associating with or financially supporting unions, whether or not they are members of a particular church.

Named as defendants by theUS Justice Department and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were:

  • the state ofOhio
  • theOhio Environmental Protection Agency
  • the Ohio Department of Administrative Services
  • theOhio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME, Local 11, AFL-CIO.

According to the settlement announcement, the suit was prompted by the case of a man who objected to associating with or supporting the union on religious grounds because of its support of abortion and same-sex marriage.