$42K Settlement Closes EEOC’s Religious Bias Suit on 7th-Day Adventist Employee’s Behalf

Had this employer accommodated a Seventh-Day Adventist employee by not requiring him to work on his Sabbath, it would have $42,500 more to spend on building its business.

Instead, Greenville Ready Mixed Concrete, Inc., a company based in Winterville, North Carolina, is out the dough because it decided to settle this religious discrimination case filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to EEOC’s complaint, since 2007, Michael Cole worked as a truck driver for the company. Cole’s Seventh-day Adventist faith requires him to refrain from working for hire on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath.

The company’s facilities were usually closed on Saturdays and employees only worked Saturdays on limited occasions. According to EEOC’s complaint, the company asked Cole to work on Saturday, March 22, 2014. When Cole said he could not work Saturdays based on his religious beliefs, the company failed to accommodate him and then discharged him for that reason, EEOC said.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the company agreed to five-year monitoring by the court, which will include requiring the company to create an anti-discrimination policy and provide annual training on Title VII’s protection against religious discrimination.

Here’s more on the lawsuit and settlement.

And here’s a refresher from the EEOC’s religious discrimination webpage including the duty to reasonably accommodate a person’s sincerely held religious beliefs.


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