The ability and willingness to perform duties of a job -- along with the actual completion of those duties -- is what an employee is paid to do.
If any of these three requirements is unfulfilled, an employee is not holding up his end of the bargain.
In effect, that breech allows an employer to take action to rectify the situation and put someone in the position who can and will do the job.
Erie County Board of Health nurse Maria Sulewski's refusal to give a presentation on birth control and safe sex keeps her from performing her job as required.
The four-year employee cites religious beliefs as her reason for refusing. She has filed suit against the department for transferring her to a different position -- not terminating her, simply moving her to a job more in keeping with her abilities and moral code.
The suit contends Sulewski would be required to work more days for fewer hours, resulting in a reduction of pay.
The health department's duty is not to make moral judgements but rather to inform the people of Erie County about the dangers of unprotected sex.
As a conveyor of this information, one is not required to advocate sexual freedom, merely to present facts so people can make informed sexual choices within the parameters of their own moral codes. Abstinence may be the safest path, but it's not always the one chosen.
While all Americans are guaranteed the right to practice religion as they see fit, the Constitution does not provide citizens with a right to a job tailored to their beliefs.
Though Sulewski might be commended for the strength of her convictions, she would do well to realize every action, whether it be unsafe sex or refusal to do one's job, has its ramifications.
Whoever makes the decision to proceed against recommendations to the contrary must then be willing to live with the consequences of that decision.
That, too, is reality.