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Kellogg Co. logo.(Photo: Provided)Richard Tabura and Guadalupe Diaz worked for a Kellogg Co. plant in Utah. A change in work schedule for the plant in 2011 meant that all employees had to work roughly two Saturdays a month. Because Seventh day Adventists observe the Sabbath from sunset on Fridays to sunset onSaturdays, it was a conflict for Tabura and Diaz.

Paid time off was not enough to cover their absences and they could not always find coworkers to take their shifts.

Kellogg Co. issued points to employees for late clock ins, early departures and unannounced absences. Tabura and Diaz both accumulated enough points by 2012 that it resulted in the two getting fired. The two decided to sue Kellogg Co. for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

In a case before theUnited States District Court for the District of Utah, Kellogg Co. K. The court ruled that Kellogg Co. made reasonable accommodations and anything further would have resulted in undue hardship for the company. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver reversed that decision on Wednesday.

The conclusion of the appellate court was that, while Kellogg should not have been granted the win, there was insufficient evidence to rule in favor of Tabura and Diaz, which is why the case is being returned to the district court for further deliberation.

“The Seventh day Adventist church is pleased with this watershed decision upholding the critically important right of Americans to adhere to their religious beliefs in the workplace,
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” Todd McFarland, associate general counsel for the Seventh day Adventist church, said in a press release.

Kris Charles, Kellogg Co. spokesperson, said only that “we don’t comment on pending litigation.”

Though the case is happening on the other side of the country, it has specific resonances with Battle Creek’s history.

The movement that became the Seventh day Adventist Church started inthe 1840s, but the church itself was officially organized in Battle Creek in 1863.
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