A Christian man who was forced to retire after his company, Consol Energy/Consolidation Coal Co.’s mining operations, in Mannington, West Virginia, was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages last Thursday by a federal jury.
The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on behalf of Beverly Butcher against Consol Energy after the company refused to accommodate him when he told them that submitting to a newly installed biometric hand-scanner that tracks employees’ time and attendance conflicted with his religious belief.
Butcher told his superiors in June 2012 that he couldn’t submit to the scan because he believes the technology has a connection to the “Mark of the Beast” and antichrist highlighted in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Consol Energy/Consolidation refused to exempt Butcher from the scanning, rejecting a manual alternative which they had granted to two employees who were missing fingers.
A letter written by the scanner’s vendor, Recognition Systems Inc., was given to Butcher. It expressed the vendor’s interpretation of chapter 13, verse 16 of the book of Revelation. The vendor pointed out that the “scripture references the Mark of the Beast only on the right hand and forehead; and suggests that persons with concerns about taking the Mark of the Beast ‘be enrolled’ with their left hand and palm facing up.”
Do you think the employee took it too far? What would you have done?