Workplace Culture

EEOC Settles Seventh Day Adventist Religious Discrimination Suit

By Judy Greenwald

Jan. 2, 2013

A Birmingham, Alabama-based manufacturing company has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly refusing to hire a Seventh Day Adventist, the agency said.

The EEOC said late last month that when James Wright applied for employment with Altec Industries Inc.’s Burnsville, North Carolina, manufacturing facility, he said that as a Seventh Day Adventist, he could not work on his Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. The EEOC charged in its complaint that Altec decided not to hire him as a result, which it said violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to paying the $25,000, under terms of the settlement, Altec also agreed to provide annual training on religious discrimination to all of its managers and supervisors at its Burnsville facility, among other actions.

Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte, North Carolina, district office said in a statement: “An employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant to avoid making a religious accommodation.

“Where there is a conflict between a religious belief and work rules, the law mandates that employers make a sincere effort to accommodate those beliefs, including at the application stage. We are pleased that the settlement with Altec provides injunctive relief that will benefit all the company’s employees and future applicants.”

A spokesman for Altec, which provides products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications and contractor markets, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Experts say religious discrimination claims in the workplace are expected to be a growing problem for employers.

Judy Greenwald writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

Judy Greenwald writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

5 lunch break statistics that shed light on American work culture

Summary Research shows how taking lunch breaks enhances employee engagement and productivity. Despite t...

lunch breaks, scheduling, statistics

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

6 Things Leadership can do to Prevent Nurse Burnout

Summary Nurse burnout is a serious issue in the healthcare business and has several negative consequenc...

burnout, Healthcare, hospitals, nurses

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

5 tips to reduce employee no call, no shows

Summary No call, no shows are damaging to businesses. High no call, no show rates could suggest problem...

absence, attendance, no call, no shows, time