Nurse-midwife sues for not getting job she wouldn’t do

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When Florida nurse-midwife Sara Hellwege applied for a job at a local family planning clinic, she informed the hiring manager that she would not prescribe hormonal contraception due to a religious objection.
The clinic chose not to hire Hellwege because prescribing birth control was a key part of the job. Now Hellwege is suing the Tampa Family Health Center for religious discrimination.
According to emails included with the court documents, a Tampa Family Health Center employee informed Hellwege that there were no positions available that fit her moral parameters. Hellwege continued to press about being hired to perform only some of the duties requires of the other positions.

"Due to religious guidelines, I am able to counsel women regarding all forms of contraception," she wrote in an email to the centre’s HR director. “However, cannot [prescribe] it unless pathology exists.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organisation, has filed a federal lawsuit on Hellwege’s behalf, claiming she was discriminated against on the basis of her religion.

What do you think? Should the centre have hired Hellwege?

  • Lynda Mathieson on 28/07/2014 11:22:51 a.m.

    Prescribing birth control was a key part of the job. The applicant simply could not meet the obligations of the role. There is no prejudice in the decission not to hire her. The organisation will choose the candidate who best fits the role, based on their ability, competencies and experience in carrying out the tasks required. Instead of the candidate suing the organisation, why doesn't she apply for a job that best suits her. In fact with her skillset in being able to counsel women regarding all forms of contraception, other than the prescribed contraceptive pill, she could set herself up as a consultant in her field of expertise. That would be a positive move.

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