Company refused to provide truck driver with religious accommodation, EEOC claims

Contractor allegedly fired Seventh-day Adventist because of his Sabbath request

Posted June 13, 2016

A North Carolina concrete company violated federal law when it refused to provide a religious accommodation for and then fired an employee who is a Seventh-day Adventist, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a religious discrimination lawsuit.

According to EEOC's complaint, since 2007, the employee worked for the company as a truck driver. In February 2014, he was baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist. The driver’s faith requires him to refrain from working for hire on Saturdays, specifically from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, in observance of the Sabbath.

The driver’s regular schedule did not include Saturday work. Shortly after his baptism, the driver asked the company to excuse him from working on Saturdays because of his religious beliefs. According to EEOC's complaint, the company scheduled the driver to work on Saturday, March 22, 2014. When the driver notified the company that he could not work that day based on his religious beliefs, the company discharged him for that reason, EEOC said.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to attempt to make reasonable accommodations to sincerely held religious beliefs of employees absent undue hardship.

In its complaint, EEOC seeks back pay, along with compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief.


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