Can my employer force me to use a biometric scanner to track my time and attendance?
A mining company in West Virginia has fired an employee for refusing to submit to this technology, but the EEOC claims that the termination violates laws against religious discrimination. The mining company started using a new technology that reads the precise geometry of an employee’s hand, such that employees clock in and out using only their left hands. The employee asked for an exemption to the company’s rule requiring this method of keeping time, claiming that the technology had some connection to the “Mark of the Beast” as per his Evangelical Christian beliefs. Other employees with physical disabilities had been allowed to clock in and out using alternate systems, showing that an exemption is possible.
The EEOC’s district director stated, “In this case, the mining companies not only lost the services of a long-tenured employee, they also violated federal law when they obstinately refused to consider easy alternatives to their new hand-scanning time and attendance system to accommodate Mr. Butcher’s religious beliefs.”