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International Association of Machinists v. Boeing Co.

833 F.2d 165 (1987)

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International Association of Machinists v. Boeing Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

833 F.2d 165 (1987)

Facts

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Lodge 751 (the union) (plaintiff) entered into a collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Boeing Company (defendant). The CBA included a provision that required employees to pay union fees. Thomasine Nichols (defendant), a Boeing employee, requested an exemption from paying union fees because doing so would violate her religious beliefs and offered to make a charitable contribution instead. Although Nichols’s church did not object to union membership, she developed her own sincere opposition through private Bible study. The union rejected the request and asked that Boeing terminate Nichols’s employment. Boeing refused. The union sued to compel Boeing to arbitrate the issue of whether terminating Nichols was warranted. Boeing argued that terminating Nichols would violate the religious-accommodation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The union argued that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) superseded Title VII and that Title VII’s religious-accommodation requirement violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The district court entered summary judgment for Boeing and Nichols, and the union appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beezer, J.)

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