San Francisco, Calif. (January 4, 2002) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found reason to believe the California Faculty Association (CFA) discriminated against California State University (CSU) Professor Charles Baird by refusing to accommodate his sincere religious objections to joining or paying compulsory agency fees to the union. The federal agency judged the CFA’s actions to be in direct violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Right Act after hearing arguments from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
“This ruling reaffirms that Big Labor cannot trample on someone’s religious freedom,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “The CFA claims to stand up for the rights of employees, but this case shows that it only wants to stand for forced unionism.”
National Right to Work Foundation attorneys first filed the religious discrimination charges with the EEOC on November 6, 2000, after the CFA refused to honor Professor Baird’s objection to supporting the union on the grounds that it violated his religious beliefs. As a Roman Catholic, Baird objects to union affiliation on the grounds, among others, that he would be supporting an organization that has promoted conflict and used coercion to achieve its goals.
“Dr. Baird’s case shows that Big Labor believes paying tribute to a union is more important than paying tribute to your faith,” stated Gleason. “The indifference union operatives have shown to honest men like Professor Baird is exactly why we need to protect every American’s right to free association.”
Under Title VII, unions must accommodate sincere religious objectors by, at least, allowing them to make charitable contributions in lieu of paying union fees. Unless the CFA remedies its lawbreaking and discriminatory behavior, the EEOC has ordered the case will be handed over to the courts for enforcement.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.