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Bus Driver Fired For Refusing to Transport Client to Planned Parenthood

Edwin A. Graning, a Texas bus driver that used to work for Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) near Austin, was fired from the company last January after refusing to transport a client to a Planned Parenthood office. Now, CNN reports that the employee has filed a lawsuit against CARTS, claiming that his termination was a form of religious discrimination.

According to the lawsuit, Edwin Graning told his supervisor at the time of the incident that "in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion." The employee is an ordained Christian minister and the last day of his employment with CARTS was the day he refused service.

With his employment lawyer Edward White III, the plaintiff is seeking reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress.

"It's only because he voiced his religious beliefs that he was canned," the employment lawyer told CNN. "Employers have a legal responsibility to at least attempt to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. ... CARTS clearly violated Mr. Graning's religious freedom."

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of religion, as long as there are at least 15 people employed with the company or agency. In addition, employers are required to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause the company undue hardship. Anybody who feels that they have experienced religious discrimination in the workplace should contact a Houston employment lawyer to learn more information on filing a claim.

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