Cars-R-Us (Cars) has several truck and car manufacturing plants throughout the United States. All its plants are unionized. Clem, a fervent Seventh Day Adventist, works for Cars in its plant in the Southwest. Because he lacks seniority in his job, he was assigned to the evening shift on the production line, which required him to work on Friday nights. Clem’s religion prohibited him from working from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, so he failed to show up for work at those times. Eventually, Clem was fired for his continuing Friday night absences from work. Accommodating Clem would have required Cars to use a floater to replace Clem every Friday night. This would mean that Cars would have to forgo using the floater elsewhere or hire another floater. In addition, more repairs and lower efficiency are likely when a floater is used on the line.

Clem sued Cars, claiming religious discrimination. Cars defended claiming that Clem was not fired for religious discrimination but for absenteeism.

Will Clem succeed in his discrimination suit? In answering this question, discuss the applicable rules and why they do or do not apply in this case.


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