A religious discrimination lawsuit was recently settled after an employee's religious beliefs were disregarded by a manager at a Texas-based senior assisted living home. The company, Senior Living Properties, LLC, will pay $42,500; bolster its training regarding discrimination in the workplace; and enact other provisions to compensate for the unfortunate episode.
The EEOC has reaffirmed what many Texas readers already know - it is illegal to refuse to hire someone because of their religious observances. Employers have an obligation to make reasonable accommodations for current or potential employee's religious observances, including scheduling flexibility for employees that observe a part of the week during which they cannot work. For people of many different faiths, this day is called the Sabbath, and it generally lasts from sundown to sundown one day per week.
Texas may not have steel mills like Pittsburgh and Indiana, but a religious discrimination claim can be filed in any of the United States. A Christian man was hired to work in the steel mill under the condition that he would not be required to work consecutive Sundays. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reported that the company forced the man to choose between working his Sunday shift or losing his employment, and he was ultimately terminated. The man only worked two weeks for the company before they refused to attempt to accommodate as required by federal law.