Minnesota workers who are concerned with workplace rights and religious expression may be interested in a case involving Food Lion. The supermarket chain has been sued in connection with circumstances surrounding an employee who requested scheduling considerations so that he could comply with his religious beliefs and practices. The employee reportedly asked not to be scheduled on Sundays and Thursday nights because of the need to attend Jehovah’s Witness church services and meetings.
Reports indicate that the request was honored when the employee first began to work for the companyy in a Winston-Salem location. Upon transfer to a location in Kernsville, however, the manager allegedly refused to honor the request, firing the man because of his being unavailable for work on Sundays. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit for workplace discrimination on Aug. 20, seeking back pay and other losses on behalf of the man. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides for employees with sincerely held religious beliefs to be given consideration where undue hardship isn’t created for the employer.
While the EEOC has the responsibility of enforcing laws related to workplace discrimination, an individual dealing with such issues may find that government action can take time. The man in this case was fired in 2011, and the EEOC suit comes three years after those initial hardships were experienced. In addition to making a report through the EEOC, an individual facing such religious discrimination issues in the workplace may want to consider involving an employment law attorney in the situation.
Every workplace discrimination case is different, and an attorney may recommend different steps based on the specific details of a given situation. If a job termination has occurred, an attorney may assist a client in filing appropriate reports with the EEOC.
Source: Salisbury Post, “EEOC sues Food Lion for religious discrimination“, August 20, 2014