Life Legal is honored to stand beside everyday heroes who are willing to speak up for the truth, even when there is a very real personal cost. Jan England is an unassuming woman who has a deep, vibrant faith, and a sincere desire to assist the less fortunate. In 2014, she applied for work with the Sacramento County Department of Public Assistance and completed the required training to become a Human Services Specialist to assist individuals navigate the complicated world of welfare.
Jan soon realized the County expected her to encourage and promote abortion, and even to register her clients—some as young as twelve—to obtain benefits so they could abort their babies. Jan objected and requested an accommodation.
The County refused. They then forced Jan to certify her compliance with the job duties to which she had specifically objected. Again, she asked for an accommodation.
Two days later, she was fired.
To add insult to injury, Jan’s application for unemployment was denied, as the County claimed she was fired for misconduct. Jan appealed and with representation by Life Legal Staff Counsel Rebekah Millard, she won her case.
“The judge saw through the County’s flimsy arguments and affirmed Jan’s right to express her sincere beliefs, and to request accommodation for those beliefs,” comments Ms. Millard.
Life Legal helped Jan file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. After continuing negotiations, a settlement was reached in which she received monetary relief.
Most importantly, the County of Sacramento agreed to change its policy on religious discrimination to include a proper interactive process for accommodation and to retrain its staff regarding the right to reasonable accommodation.