BiometricsHand scanners as mark of the beast
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) sues a Pennsylvania mining company for forcing an employee into an early retirement after he refused to use a biometric hand scanner to track his hours. The employee argued that using the scanner would violate his Evangelical Christian beliefs in the Bible’s mark of the beast prophecy. According to the Christian Bible, the mark is implanted on the forehead or right hand and symbolizes allegiance to the antichrist.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission filed a lawsuit against Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based Consol Energy Inc. on behalf of Beverly Butcher Jr., who had worked at the company’s Mannington, West Virginia coal mine for more than thirty-five years.
Butcher was forced into early retirement after he refused to use a biometric hand scanner to track his hours, saying that using the scanner would violate his Evangelical Christian beliefs.
The EEOC said in its law suit that the company should have more considerate of view of the relationship between hand-scanning technology and the mark of the beast in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation.
Yahoo News reports that according to the Christian Bible, the mark is implanted on the forehead or right hand and symbolizes allegiance to the antichrist.
The EEOC notes in the papers it filed with the court that alternatives to hand scans were found for two employees with missing fingers, but that no provision was made for Butcher.
“The focus is on whether the employer can provide an accommodation without incurring an undue hardship,” Philadelphia EEOC regional attorney Debra Lawrence said in a statement.
The company last week did not comment on the lawsuit but said it went out of its way to accommodate religious beliefs.
“In appropriate cases we make reasonable accommodations to address any conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs,” said company spokeswoman Lynn Seay in a statement.
EEOC district director Spencer Lewis Jr. said the company violated Butcher’s civil rights when “they obstinately refused to consider easy alternatives to their new hand-scanning time and attendance system to accommodate Mr. Butcher’s religious beliefs.”