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Court: Sea-Tac Workers Can Sue Over Lunch Menus

Gene Johnson, Associated Press
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File photo of Sea-Tac Airport (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of Sea-Tac Airport (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s Supreme Court says workers who help prepare meals for flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport can pursue their claims that the lunches their company provided to them violated their religious beliefs.

Due to security concerns, the workers at Gate Gourmet can’t bring their own lunches to work. Nor can they leave work on their 30-minute lunch breaks.

Instead, the company provides their lunches. While there are ostensibly vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, the workers say the vegetarian options include animal by-products and allege the company switched from turkey meatballs to beef-and-pork meatballs without telling them.

A lower court held that Washington’s anti-discrimination law doesn’t allow people to sue when private employers fail to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of their workers.

In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the high court disagreed, and said that duty is implied in the law.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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