For seven years, Raymond Zdunski worked at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES before being let go for reasons he calls unlawful religious discrimination.
He filed a lawsuit against Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, asking for $10 million in damages and demanding that he be reinstated with back pay. New York’s school districts may use BOCES’ shared educational programs and services because of a public agency established in 1948 by the state’s legislature.
In his case, the plaintiff claimed that participating in the LGBTQ training and makeup session was aimed at influencing his religious convictions about gender and that doing so would have been a violation of his religious beliefs. The BOCES administration did not provide him with the requested religious accommodation.
In 2022, District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford rejected Zdunski’s complaint, finding his allegations to be “unsupported” and agreeing with BOCES that he was fired for refusing to attend the training BOCES had asserted was designed to assist in avoiding discrimination in the workplace.
Crawford ruled that the evidence presented by the plaintiff was inadequate to establish a prima facie case of discrimination based on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs. As a result, in conclusion, no facts in the record support a determination that Mr. Zdunski was dismissed because of his faith, and instead, “the evidence in the record supports Defendants’ claim that his termination was due to his repeated refusal to attend a necessary employee training.”
Last Wednesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with BOCES, stating in its judgment that Zdunski had failed to produce “adequate proof” supporting his allegations.
Zdunski said that It looks like the country is against Christians, but everyone else is free to follow their religion.
There has been a growing movement in recent years to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace throughout the United States (DEI). Yet, recent research indicated that firms are cutting DEI employment and that employees are leaving these professions at a greater rate than other occupations. Companies that experienced layoffs last year were more likely to reduce DEI jobs (33%) than other functions (21%), according to a survey by Revelio Labs.