The Case of the Ultrasound Technician

An Evangelical Christian began working as an ultrasound technician at a hospital. Due to the technician’s religious beliefs, he was strongly opposed to abortions. Furthermore, he believed his religion required him to pray with patients considering abortions, to encourage them not to go through with the procedure, and to provide them with his pastor’s phone number.

His employer advised the technician that he could not proselytize to patients, or attempt to provide pastoral counseling. As an alternative, the employer told him that he could leave the room if he felt that his religious beliefs would not allow him to examine the patient seeking the abortion.

The technician continued to proselytize to patients seeking abortions, and his employment was subsequently terminated.

The technician then sued the employer for wrongful termination.

Key Issue: The boundary line between the appropriate expression of religious beliefs and proselytizing.

Ruling: The court held for the employer, finding that the technician persisted in his religious communications despite being offered a reasonable accommodation (i.e., leaving the room).

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