Blind to Accommodation: Group Will Pay $25K to Hebrew Pentecostal Fired for Wanting Time Off

Some employers still don’t get that have to try to reasonably accommodate employees who can’t work certain days for religious reasons. Not doing so is a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, unless the accommodation would result in undue hardship for the employer.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Federation for the Blind never even made that effort in the case of an employee who couldn’t work sundown Friday to sundown Saturday because he is a Hebrew Pentecostal.

And because it didn’t reasonably accommodate the employee, it has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle the EEOC’s Title VII lawsuit against it.

EEOC charged that about two months after the employee started working as a bookkeeper at NFB’s Baltimore office, management told him he would have to work certain Saturdays. The employee explained that he could not work Saturdays due to his religious beliefs and requested a reasonable accommodation, such as working on Sundays or working late on week nights other than Fridays. NFB refused to provide any reasonable accommodation and instead abruptly fired Massey because of his religion, according to the lawsuit.

For more information on the lawsuit and settlement, click here.

Here’s the EEOC’s web page on religious discrimination, including the need for religious accommodation.


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