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Philadelphia Transit Worker Fired for Refusing To Work on Rosh Hashanah

A janitorial worker for Philadelphia’s mass transit system is suing the agency for firing him after he refused to work on Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat.

Romel McAlpin, who belongs to the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, which preserves some Jewish holidays, said he informed the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, of his beliefs when he was hired in May 2012, Philadelphia media reported.

McAlpin, who is backed in his lawsuit by the Transport Workers Union, said that the accommodations that SEPTA offered, involving seeking a shift swap from a specific class of worker, were too restrictive.

McAlpin was dismissed for his observance of Rosh Hashanah last year and for Shabbat on Oct. 12, also last year. He filed his lawsuit in August.

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