Court sides with fired driver who feared ‘mark of the devil’
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) – A fired Pennsylvania school bus driver who believed being fingerprinted would leave “the mark of the devil” on her has won a court battle to receive unemployment benefits.
Bonnie Kaite lost her job with Altoona Student Transportation Inc. in 2015 after telling the company being fingerprinted for a background check could bar her from heaven.
The state unemployment board denied her benefits last year, saying the belief was personal, not religious. It said her belief was based on her father’s interpretation of the Bible, not the teachings of a religious organization.
PennLive.com reports a Commonwealth Court panel overturned that decision Wednesday. The panel found Kaite’s beliefs were sincerely held religious convictions, even if she practiced them only at home.
Kaite has sued her former employer for religious discrimination. The company says it was told the background check required fingerprints.