Jean Camara is a devout Muslim. While working at Costco as a cashiers assistant Camara refused to handle pork products or alcohol because doing so violated his religious beliefs. When Camara told his managers about his religious restrictions, his managers switched his duties to collecting carts. (You know where this is going, but don’t get ahead of me.) Camara was unhappy with his new assignment and apparently didn’t understand why he had been transferred. His requests to be transferred again to another department were refused. Yes, you guessed it, Camara has now filed a lawsuit, charging Costco with a human rights violation. Camara was eventually fired for insubordination.
You can read the entire story here.
I respect everyone’s right to observe their religious faith. However, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why this lawsuit hasn’t been tossed out and the Plaintiff and his lawyer tossed out on their rear-ends. It seems to me as if the management at Costco acted in a manner to accommodate Camara. Camara’s position is that Costco management punished him because of his religious beliefs. (Because, you know, it is so important that HE assist the cashier.) In his mind, once he refused to handle pork, his supervisors decided to give him a job that no one wants to do – go outside and collect carts. Of course, someone has to collect carts. What is unclear is why HE shouldn’t have to collect carts. A judge will decide.
Sadly, this is just one more example of how in this country, the notion of rights has become so twisted as to become unrecognizable from its former and authentic self. Work is not a human right, lest someone have the duty to provide work. Work at Costco is not a right, lest Costco have a duty to provide work. Working at Costco in the department that you want is not a right, lest Costco have a duty to provide you with work that YOU find satisfying. There was a time in this country when the response from a worker who doesn’t like his job was to find another job, in this case, one that wouldn’t have him violate his religious beliefs. Hey! There’s an idea.