EEOC: Blind Advocacy Group Violated Sabbath Observer’s Rights by Denying Accommodation

The National Federation for the Blind allegedly was blind to the need of a Sabbath-observant bookkeeper, and as a result finds itself in court having to defend its actions in a Title VII lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the EEOC, the Federation hired the bookkeeper, a practicing Hebrew Pentecostal, to work in its Baltimore office in 2013. In 2014 he was told he would have to work some Saturdays, which would conflict with his observance of the Sabbath.

He suggested alternatives such as working on Sundays or working late on week nights other than Fridays, the EEOC said. But instead the organization refused to provide any reasonable accommodation and instead fired the bookkeeper because he could not work Saturdays due to his religious beliefs.

Title VII forbids requiring an employee to choose between his or her religious observance and the job, unless the employer can show the accommodation would unduly burden others.

So if this goes to court, the burden will be on the federation to make that case.

Read more about the lawsuit.

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