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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.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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