Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Dec. 14, 2015

At 10:30  (I originally wrote 10:00 – sorry.  Adding a pittbull to my personal animal rescue shelter has really destroyed my heretofore nonexistent schedule),  the Court will hear an interesting case Crystal Finnie v Lee County Board of Supervisors.  

Crystal Finnie started working for the Lee County Sheriff’s Department  in 2004 as a Juvenile Detention Officer. In 2006, she was promoted to Corporal Correctional Officer.   The sheriff’s dress code required all officers to wear pants.   Finnie converted to the Pentecostal religion which does not allow women to wear pants.  The sheriff fired  Finnie in April 2009, for noncompliance with  dress code.   Finnie applied for unemployment which the Department of Employment Security granted.  Lee County appealed and the circuit court reversed finding that  Finnie intentionally violated the sheriff’s policies.

Finnie also filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging religious discrimination.  The court granted summary judgment to Lee County and the Fifth Circuit affirmed.

During the MDES hearings, the sheriff’s office put on evidence that the wearing of a skirt compromised safety.

Finnie’s brief 

Lee County’s brief

Finnie’s reply brief

MDES filed an amicus brief

Watch the argument here.

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