$110,000 Settlement in Religious Discrimination Against Jehovah's Witness, Training Ordered

Monday, November 14, 2011

Question:  Would religious discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.
Dresser Rand Company agreed to pay $110,000 and provide other relief to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the lawsuit, Harry Davis, a Jehovah’s Witness employed at Dresser Rand’s Painted Post, N.Y., location, had a religious objection to working on weapons of war. After he declined to work on a part destined for a submarine, Dresser Rand refused to accommodate his request to switch assignments to work on a different piece of equipment, and then fired him.

The EEOC charged that Dresser Rand’s actions violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Rochester in September 2004 (EEOC v. Dresser Rand Co., 04-CV-6300, W.D.N.Y.). The case was settled before trial as a result of a court-supervised mediation process.

Under the consent decree submitted to federal Judge Charles Siragusa for approval, in addition to the monetary relief, Dresser Rand has amended its equal employment opportunity policy, will conduct anti-discrimination training and post notices about discrimination laws at its Painted Post facility.

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