High Holidays, the Sabbath, and working for a living—sometimes it all works out and sometimes it doesn’t. As Jews around the world celebrate the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in addition to the weekly Sabbath, we’re reminded of the conflict faced by those employees who believe work is prohibited on holy days. This case involved David and Terry, who ran an Allstate insurance office in Ohio. They’re observant Jews who always closed the office before sunset the night before Jewish holidays and the Sabbath. Everything was going great until Allstate announced all Allstate offices had to remain open until 6 p.m. on Fridays, which in the winter is several hours after sunset, from 9 to 1 on Saturdays, and on all days during the week. David and Terry notified Allstate they considered themselves constructively discharged—they then resigned, and sued. But the Court held for Allstate, holding they weren’t actually disciplined or fired, and Allstate was actually surprised when they left. So David and Terry have moved on, and you’re in good hands with Allstate, except when souls get in the way of sales.
THIS IS NEIL CHAYET LOOKING AT THE LAW™
David A. Goldmeier and Terry C. Goldmeier v. Allstate Insurance Company, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, No. 01-3888, July 24, 2003, Boggs, J.