Employee who refuses to comply with statute cannot claim wrongful termination or religious discrimination
Donald Yeager refused to provide his employer with a Social Security number. He was fired as a result. He maintained that it was a violation of his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion to fire him for failing to provide a SSN, because he "disclaimed and disavowed Social Security" as a matter of his religious beliefs. He sued the employer for wrongful discharge.
The case was summarily dismissed. The Sixth Circuit pointed out that it was not a violation of Yeager's civil rights for the employer to comply with a federal statute. Since the employer was obligated by law to collect and turn over SSNs of employees--as a matter of immigration policy--the employer's compliance with the law did not impermissibly infringe on Yeager's free exercise of religion.