MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Krushinski instituted this Title VII action on July 25, 1984 after having obtained a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Plaintiff, previously employed as a dock worker by the defendant, Roadway Express, Inc., alleges that he was discharged because of his religious beliefs. As a member of The Worldwide Church of God, plaintiff maintains that his religion observes a doctrine which requires abstaining from work from Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. Plaintiff alleges defendant denied him time off from work to observe the Sabbath, and as a result, plaintiff was forced to use personal and sick-leave time. When these days were exhausted, plaintiff apparently did not report for work and was subsequently suspended and terminated from his employment.
Plaintiff's action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. [Title VII]. Defendant has moved for summary judgment by motion dated February 7, 1985 and filed a brief in support thereof on the same date. The plaintiff filed a brief in opposition to the motion dated March 4, 1985 and the defendant filed a reply brief dated March 22, 1985. The motion is now ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.
Title VII, as amended, makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of his religion. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Religion is defined to include all aspects of religious observance and practice unless the employer demonstrates that he cannot "reasonably accommodate" the employee's religious needs without "undue hardship." 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)(j). In Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 97 S. Ct. 2264, 53 L. Ed. 2d 113 (1977), a case analogous to the one presented here, the Supreme Court held that TWA, which had made reasonable efforts to accommodate respondent's religious needs, did not violate Title VII since an agreed-upon seniority system is not required to give way to accommodate religious observances and to require TWA to bear more than a de minimis cost in order to give respondents Saturdays off would be an undue hardship. In Hardison, plaintiff was an aircraft maintenance stores clerk, whose work was in demand by his employer twenty-four hours of every day. The plaintiff, also a member of the The Worldwide Church of God, refused to work on all holydays as well as every Saturday so that he could observe the Sabbath. TWA, his employer, accommodated his observance of the holydays but refused to accommodate his demand to have every Saturday free. The court concluded that TWA had engaged in significant efforts to accommodate his needs. First, TWA and the airline had adopted a seniority system which minimized the number of occasions when an employee must work when he would prefer to attend to other needs. Second, the company reduced its weekend work force to the bare minimum needed. Third, the company indicated it would approve any exchange of shifts for Hardison that could be arranged with the union. Accordingly, the Supreme Court found that the employer's duty of reasonable accommodation under Title VII was not violated. Id. See also Brener v. Diagnostic Center Hospital, 671 F.2d 141 (5th Cir. 1982); Turpen v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company, 736 F.2d 1022 (5th Cir. 1984); Equal Opportunity Commission v. Caribe Hilton International, 597 F. Supp. 1007 (D. Puerto Rico 1984); Niederhuber v. Camden City Vocational and Technical School District Board of Education, 495 F. Supp. 273 (D.N.J. 1980), aff'd. 671 F.2d 496 (3d Cir. 1981).
Regarding an established seniority system, Title VII's reasonable accommodation mandates only that an employer make good faith efforts to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. It does not require that in doing so an employer override an established seniority system, nor does it require that an employer take steps that go beyond those a reasonable person would take. See Turpen, 736 F.2d at 1028. The Supreme Court in Hardison explained:
It would be anomalous to conclude that by "reasonable accommodation" Congress meant that an employer must deny the shift in job preference of some employees, as well as deprive them of their contractual rights, in order to accommodate or prefer the religious needs of others, and we conclude that Title VII does not require an employer to go that far.
Hardison, 432 U.S. at 81. The Court further observed that its conclusion is supported by the fact that seniority systems are afforded special treatment under Title VII itself. Id. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(h). Since there was no suggestion of discriminatory intent and it was only coincidental that in the plaintiff's case the seniority system acted to compound his problems in exercising his religion, the Court determined that TWA was not required by Title VII to "carve out a special exception to its seniority system in order to help Hardison to meet his religious obligations." Id. at 82-83.
Additionally, while it is well understood that individuals bringing a Title VII action are under no burden to propose to their employers specific means of accommodating their religious practices, it is also recognized that they have a duty to cooperate with the measures suggested by their employers. See Brener, 671 F.2d at 145. The Fifth Circuit went on to explain:
These cases confirm what the statute's use of the term "reasonable" suggests: bilateral cooperation is appropriate in the search for an acceptable reconciliation of the needs of the employee's religion and the exigencies of the employer's business. Although the statutory burden to accommodate rests with the employer, the employee has a correlative duty to make a good faith attempt to satisfy his needs through means offered by the employer. A reasonable accommodation need not be on the employee's terms only.