Religious liberty in the workplace on land and in air

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An Atlanta-based airline company suspended a Muslim flight attendant Aug. 25 for refusing to serve alcohol, which she says is against her religious beliefs.

Charee Stanley, 40, has worked for ExpressJet for three years and converted to Islam during that time according to USA TODAY.

Stanley says that she only learned recently that Islam forbids her from either consuming or serving alcohol.

Although she was initially told to work it out with other flight attendants, her lawyer said, a co-worker filed a complaint at the beginning of August claiming that Stanley wasn’t doing her job.

A few weeks later, ExpressJet told Stanley they were placing her on administrative leave.

“She was disciplined as a result of following the instructions of ExpressJet,” Lena Masri, an attorney with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told CNN. “They directed her to do that — she carried out what she was instructed to do by the airline, and she was ultimately disciplined for that.”

Stanley has since filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Meanwhile, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who like Stanley claims that her religion prevents her from carrying out her work duties, was released Tuesday morning after five days in jail.

Davis, who refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, has been the focus of a new wave of debate over the limits of religious freedom in the workplace and in the public square.

As an apostolic Christian, Davis says that issuing licenses to same-sex couples violates her conscience, since she believes that gay marriage is a sin.

The judge who ordered her jail for contempt of court warned Davis not to interfere with her deputy clerks, who have been issuing licenses in her absence.

Contact Kara Bettis at [email protected] or @karabettis.