Friday, December 29, 2023

EEOC announces settlements in 2 religious discrimination lawsuits

In the last several days, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced settlements in two unrelated Title VII religious discrimination suits filed by the agency.  

Last week the EEOC announced that Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will pay $45,000 in damages to a former maintenance employee who was denied a religious exemption from the healthcare system's flu vaccine requirement. 

The employee, who worked primarily outside and had limited contact with the public or other staff, had been granted an exemption in 2017 and 2018, but was denied one and fired in 2019. 

Under the consent decree settling the suit, Children's Healthcare will also modify its religious exemption policy to presume eligibility for employees who work away from patients and other staff.

Yesterday the EEOC announced that Triple Canopy, Inc., a company that provides protective services to federal agencies, will pay $110,759 in damages to an employee who was denied a religious accommodation of his Christian belief that men must wear beards. 

The company denied the accommodation because the employee was unable to provide additional substantiation of his beliefs or a supporting statement from a documented religious leader. 

The company will also institute a new religious accommodation policy.