$125,000 Settlement in Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, Training Ordered

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Question:  Would religious discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

A Boca Raton nursing and rehabilitation facility will pay $125,000 to settle  two religious discrimination lawsuits brought by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC’s suits (Civil Action Nos. 11-80825-CIV-KLR and 12-80172-CIV-KLR,  filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) charged  that Boca Group LLC, doing business as Menorah House, denied a religious  accommodation to two certified nursing assistants who were Seventh-Day  Adventists and fired them because of their religious beliefs. Menorah House had accommodated the two women’s  religious needs for at least eight years, until management instituted a policy  requiring all employees to work on Saturdays, regardless of their religious  beliefs.

Such alleged conduct violates Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination  and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’  sincerely held religious beliefs so long as this does not pose an undue  hardship. The EEOC filed suit after  first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.

The consent decree settling the two  lawsuits was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Ryskamp on March 9,  2012. In the decree, Menorah House  agreed to revise its written discrimination policies with respect to religious  discrimination and to post anti-discrimination notices at all of its  facilities. In addition, Menorah House  will conduct anti-discrimination training to all employees, including managers,  supervisors and human resources personnel, with an emphasis on accommodating  religion in the workplace.

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