U.S. Files Lawsuit in Support of Mine Worker Who Claimed Hand Scan Violated His Belief in Mark of the Beast Prophecy

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is suing a coal mining company on behalf of a worker who claims the use of hand scanners clashed with his religious beliefs regarding the mark of the beast prophecy contained in the Bible.


Beverly Butcher Jr. worked for Consol Energy Inc.’s Robinson Run coal mine in Mannington, West Virginia, for 35 years, until being forced into early retirement. The evangelical Christian claims his employer was unwilling to accommodate his concerns regarding biometric hand scanners to keep track of workers.


Butcher refused to subject himself to the scans, insisting the technology clashed with the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, which says to beware of marks on the forehead or right hand that symbolize allegiance to the antichrist.


Consol Energy reportedly adopted alternatives to the scanners for two other employees who were missing fingers. But the company refused to grant similar accommodations to Butcher.


“In appropriate cases we make reasonable accommodations to address any conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs,” Lynn Seay, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement.


After receiving complaints from Butcher, company managers provided the employee with a letter from its scanner vendor, Recognition Systems, Inc. In the correspondence, the vendor noted Chapter 13, Verse 16 of the Book of Revelation, and suggested it was okay to scan a person’s left hand, palm facing up, to avoid any religious conflict.


But Butcher rejected this compromise.


EEOC District Director Spencer Lewis, Jr. said the agency came to the aid of the employee because Consol Energy violated Butcher’s civil rights, saying the employer “obstinately refused to consider easy alternatives to their new hand-scanning time and attendance system to accommodate Mr. Butcher’s religious beliefs.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Sues Company over Miner's Religious Objection to Handscan (by Elizabeth Daley, Reuters)

Eden: Biometric Hand Scanner Causes 'Mark of the Beast' Lawsuit (by Tommy Eden, oanow.com)


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