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Dunkin' Donuts franchisee accused of religious discrimination

Many Texas residents may be familiar with the tasty treats and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. A franchisee of the company, Citi Brands LLC, is now making news because of a religious discrimination lawsuit that was brought against it by a former employee from another state. He claims that because of his religious observances as a Seventh-Day-Adventist, his job offer was rescinded.

The plaintiff applied to work as a donut maker at a Dunkin' Donuts plant facility in 2012. After being interviewed by the plant manager, he was offered a job. He was told to report the following Friday afternoon for work.

The plaintiff told the plant manager that because of his religious observances that he would be unable to work at that time. Adventists observe the Sabbath from sunset on Friday until the same time Saturday. After the man told the manager that he was unavailable, he was allegedly told that he no longer had the job.

The EEOC filed a claim on behalf of the plaintiff alleging religious discrimination. The court ruled that the owner of the franchise would pay the plaintiff $22,000 as well as injunctive relief to prevent these types of occurrences from happening in the future. This would include yearly training for workers and a policy that would address religious accommodations as well as report any accommodations to the EEOC. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers in Texas and elsewhere cannot discriminate against employees or deny job opportunities to people who need religious accommodations within the confines of the law. Those who feel that they are the victims of discrimination have the right to pursue legal actions.

Source: citizen-times.com, "Arden Dunkin' Donuts to pay $22,000 to settle lawsuit", July 15, 2015

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