ABL Management to Pay $35,000 to Settle Retaliation Lawsuit with EEOC

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Company Fired Panama City Employee After He Reported Male Supervisor Sexually Harassed Him, Federal Agency Charged

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – ABL Management, Inc., a Baton Rouge, La.-based food management company, will pay $35,000 and furnish other relief to settle a retaliatory discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, ABL assigned employee Duane Gatson to serve as a kitchen supervisor at the Bay County Jail Facility in Panama City, Fla. While working in an isolated food storage area, Gaston was approached and groped by a male kitchen manager, the EEOC said. Thereafter, Gatson reported the offending conduct to his immediate supervisor. Following his report, he was advised that the company would conduct an investigation regarding his charges. However, within several weeks of making his report of sexual harassment, ABL fired Gaston as retaliation for complaining, the EEOC said.

Such alleged misconduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who has participated in an investigation under Title VII, including an employer’s internal investigation. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. ABL Management, Inc., 5:16-cv-00187-RH-GRJ) on June 30, 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Panama City after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settle­ment through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $35,000 payment, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit requires ABL to take specific actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including implementing policies and practices designed to prevent discrimination based on sex and retaliation, providing anti-discrimination training to employees, and posting anti-discrimination notices in its workplace. The decree also requires ABL to appoint a qualified consultant who will help implement policies, provide direction for potential investigations, and train ABL employees and managers about retaliation.

“When an employer fires an employee for complaining about sexual harassment, it sends the signal that it’s not safe to resist discrim­ination,” EEOC Birmingham District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas said. “Employers should be aware that the law protects employees who report this kind of misconduct and that the EEOC will enforce laws that protect workers’ rights.”

EEOC Regional Attorney Marsha Rucker added, “The EEOC is committed to vigorous enforce­ment of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees who report discrimination.”

According to company information, Baton Rouge, La.-based ABL is a national food management company that contracts with businesses to provide finished meals, as well as commissary and laundry programs, to correctional, commercial, healthcare and educational facilities.

Mariscos Altata Sued by EEOC For Sexual And Age-Based Harassment and Retaliation

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Phoenix Restaurant Subjected Women to Physical and Verbal Abuse, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX – Phoenix restaurant Mariscos Altata violated federal law by subjecting female employees to a hostile work environment based on their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC also charged the company with subjecting one female employee to a hostile work environment based on her age and retaliating against female employees that opposed the harassment that they endured.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the female employees of Mariscos Altata were subjected to unwanted touching, grabbing, fondling, sexual comments, requests for sex and other unlawful conduct since at least February 2011. The EEOC alleged that one female was subjected to harassment based on her age, including comments that she was a “worthless old lady” and coworkers taking bets on her age. The lawsuit further alleges that Mariscos Altata fired the women when they refused to comply with the sexual demands they endured.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination and retaliation, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees over the age of 40. The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Francisco’s Fine Foods, LLC d/b/a Mariscos Altata, Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-00945-JZB, in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.

“Employees must be able to go to work in an environment where they are not constantly subjected to abusive behavior,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “The agency takes this behavior extremely seriously, and is taking steps to make sure that employers know that restaurants need to be a safe place for women to work.”

Elizabeth Cadle, the director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Female employees need to be able to stand up for themselves without fear of termination. Unfortunately, over 45 percent of charges to the EEOC involve allegations of retaliation – the most common type of discrimination charge.”

Food Service Company to Pay $35,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

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Legendary Baking Fired Employee Because of Spinal Cord Condition, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO – An Illinois food service company will pay $35,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Nashville, Tenn.-based American Blue Ribbons Holding, LLC dba Legendary Baking, violated federal law by denying light duty work to Patricia Hall, an employee at its Oak Forest, Ill., baking facility. Hall has CSP myelopathy, a condition affecting her spinal cord. The company then fired Hall and refused to rehire her because of her disability, the EEOC charged.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed its lawsuit on Aug. 23, 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago (Civil Action No. 16 C 8266) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, entered by Judge John Robert Blakey, Legendary Baking will pay Hall $35,000. In addition, the decree enjoins Legendary Baking from engaging in disability discrimination or retaliation. Further, the decree requires the company to train its managers at the Oak Forest location with respect to the requirements of the ADA and to report complaints of disability discrimination to the EEOC.

“The EEOC is satisfied that this employer now clearly understands that disability discrimination is unacceptable and unlawful,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “We also are gratified that vigorous enforcement on the Commission’s part has led to appropriate corrective action and compensation for the victim.”

EEOC Regional Attorney Gregory Gochanour noted that the settlement was negotiated before the parties engaged in extended litigation or pretrial discovery.

Gochanour said, “We appreciate Legendary Baking’s determination to work with the EEOC to quickly resolve the case by providing compensation to Ms. Hall and undertaking measures to assure future compliance with the ADA.”

Rite Way to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit

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Federal Agency Wins $70,000 for Worker Who Was Fired for Helping With Sexual Harassment Investigation

GULFPORT, Miss. – Rite Way Service, Inc., a former Alabama corporation that provided janitorial cleaning services to commercial facilities in Mississippi and elsewhere in the Southeast, has agreed to pay $70,000 to a former employee to settle a federal lawsuit for unlawful retaliation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the suit, Rite Way violated federal law by firing an employee in retaliation for participating in an internal investigation concerning a sexual harassment complaint made by a coworker, the EEOC charged in a lawsuit. Rite Way employed Mekeva Tennort to perform janitorial duties at Biloxi Junior High School. In August 2011, Tennort gave a statement to supervisors investigating a sexual harassment complaint by another employee. The Commission alleged that, soon afterward, Rite Way gave Tennort several written warnings about untrue supposed performance issues, and then fired her based on these unfounded accusations.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for opposing unlawful sexual harassment, including participating in an employer’s internal sexual harassment investigation. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Rite Way Service, Inc., Case No. 3:13-cv-00407-CWR-FKB) on June 27, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary payment to Tennort, the three-year consent decree settling the suit requires Rite Way to distribute its anti-discrimination policy to specific former Rite Way employees. Further, if during the term of the consent decree, Rite Way resumes doing business, it must develop and implement policies to prevent future discrimination and retaliation, train its managers, supervisors, and all employees on unlawful discrimination, and provide reports of its compliance to the EEOC.

“Preserving access to the legal system remains a national priority for the EEOC,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, director of the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office. “This settlement demonstrates the Commission’s ongoing commitment to protect employees who participate in workplace investigations from illegal retaliation.”

EEOC Birmingham District Regional Attorney Marsha Rucker added, “This lawsuit and resulting settlement achieves the EEOC’s objectives of providing specific relief to the victim and educating employers that Title VII not only protects those who file a charge of discrimination, but also for those who speak up during the course of a workplace investigation.”

In FY 2016, the EEOC received 42,018 retaliation charges, which reflects 45.9% of all charges received.

According to company information, Rite Way now operates as a separate division of Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC in the Southeast. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Rite Way has over 40 years of experience in providing janitorial services to customer in manufacturing, industrial, office buildings, banking, education, government, healthcare and utilities.

EEOC Sues Fracking Company for Race-Based Harassment and Retaliation

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Downhole Technology Fired a Black Employee for Complaining About Racial Intimidation With a KKK Hood, Federal Agency Charges

HOUSTON – A manufacturer of equipment used in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) violated federal law when it retaliated against an employee for reporting that he had been harassed by his white coworkers because of his race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC’s suit alleges that Downhole Technology failed to adequately respond after Kenneth Echols, who is black, reported that his coworkers had used a white hood – evocative of the type used by the Ku Klux Klan – to intimidate, ridicule and insult him. The suit also contends that, rather than addressing his concerns, Downhole Technology instead reprimanded and then fired Echols for reporting the conduct to them.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of race or allowing coworkers to harass him. It also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for reporting discrimination, including harassment.

The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-00574) in the Houston Division of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas after it unsuccessfully attempted to reach a settlement agreement with Downhole Technology through its pre-suit conciliation process.

The EEOC is asking the court to permanently enjoin Downhole Technology from engaging in future discrimination and retaliation. It is also asking the court to order Downhole Technology to pay Echols both punitive and compensatory damages, in addition to lost wages and benefits.

“Employers cannot and must not discriminate on the basis of an employee’s race,” said Rayford Irvin, director for the EEOC’s Houston District Office, which has jurisdiction over parts of Texas and all of Louisiana. “Doing so denies employment equality and violates federal law.”

Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the Houston District Office, cautioned, “Employers who disregard their employees’ rights to be free from discrimination will be held accountable by the EEOC.”

EEOC Sues Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours for Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

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Company PresidentSexually Harassed Male Employees for More Than a Decade, Federal Agency Charges

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Three related Hawaii tour companies — Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours, Inc., Hawaii Tours and Transporta­tion, Inc. and Big Kahuna Luau, Inc. — violated federal anti-discrim­ination laws by allowing the ongoing sexual harassment of male employees, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, the president of Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours engaged in a pattern of sexually harassing young males after recruiting them to work for his companies. The harass­ment, which spanned more than a decade, included inviting males to join in sex parties with him; show­ing them pornographic videos and photos; requiring them to show him their private parts in order to be considered for employment; making employment opportunities contingent upon engaging in sexual acts with him; and performing unwanted sexual acts on male employees.

The EEOC further contends that when employees complained about the harassment, the company failed to take corrective action. Some male employees felt that they had no other recourse but to quit. In some instances, the president retaliated against male employees after they complained about the harassment to their supervisors, according to the suit.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours, Inc., Case No: 1:17-cv-00067) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency’s suit seeks back pay, along with compensatory and punitive damages for a class of individuals, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent any future discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

“All employees, regardless of gender, have the right to work in a harassment-free workplace and should never be forced to endure such abuse,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Hawaii in its jurisdiction. “I applaud these young men for coming forward to tell their stories.”

Glory Gervacio Saure, director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office, added, “Harassment is alleged in 31% of all charges filed with the EEOC. When employers fail to address workplace harass­ment, employees often feel that they must choose between putting up with the abuse or quitting. No one should have to make that choice.”

According to the company’s website, www.discoverhiddenhawaiitours.com, Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours provides guided tours of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai.

Individuals who may have experienced sexual harassment or have information pertaining to sexual harassment in connection with employment at Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours should contact the EEOC at 808-541-3133 for more information.

Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

EEOC Sues Marquez Brothers For Hispanic-Preference Hiring

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Non-Hispanic Applicants Turned Away From Entry-Level Positions, Federal Agency Charges

FRESNO, Calif. – Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates violated federal law when they failed to hire non-Hispanic applicants for entry-level positions because of their race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, the San Jose, Calif.-based company and its affiliates favored less-qualified Hispanic job applicants over all other races (including black, white and Asian applicants) in unskilled positions. EEOC further contends that Marquez Brothers discouraged non-Hispanic applicants from applying for open positions, asked applicants if they spoke Spanish even when speaking Spanish was not a job requirement, and otherwise deterred non-Hispanic applicants.

Marquez Brothers Enterprises, Inc., Marquez Brothers Foods, Inc., Marquez Brothers Southern California, Inc., Marquez Brothers Nevada, Inc., and Marquez Brothers Texas I, Inc. are among the Marquez Brothers International affiliates listed in EEOC lawsuit filed today.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed its suit against the company in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Marquez Brothers International, Inc., et al., Case No: 1:17-cv-00044-AWI-EPG) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages for a class of non-Hispanic applicants, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination by the companies.

“EEOC’s core mission is to ensure equal employment opportunity for all. Deterring applicants from applying because of their race flies in the face of federal law,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Kings County.

Melissa Barrios, director of EEOC’s Fresno Local Office, added, “Employers must be aware of their responsibility under the law to provide employment opportunities to everyone, regardless of race.”

According to its website, www.elmexicano.net, Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates produce and distribute Mexican-style dairy products, meat items, canned and dry goods.

Individuals who know about Marquez Brothers’ hiring practices or who believe that they were not hired by the company because of their race, can contact the EEOC at 1-855-725-4456 for more information.

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

Kevothermal, LLC to Pay $60,000 to Settle EEOC Equal Pay and National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit

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Female Paid Less Than Male Co-Worker For Doing Similar Work and Told Not to Speak Spanish on Production Floor Though It Was Part of Her Job

Albuquerque, NM- – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Kevothermal, a manufacturer of vacuum insulation panels, will pay $60,000 and furnish injunctive relief to settle an EEOC lawsuit based on the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

EEOC filed the lawsuit to obtain relief for Ms. Guerra, a former employee, who worked as a supervisor for Kevothermal. EEOC contends that Kevothermal did not pay Ms. Guerra as much as a male supervisor, even though they performed the same job duties and had comparable experience and responsibilities. Instead, Kevothermal paid Ms. Guerra less, even after she complained about the disparate wages. According to EEOC’s suit, Ms. Guerra had worked for the company prior to the male supervisor’s hiring and, in fact, had trained him. Such conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex. Such conduct also violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) which prohibits wage discrimination based on sex.

EEOC’s suit also alleged that Ms. Guerra, who is Hispanic, was instructed not to speak Spanish on the production floor, even though it was part of her job to do so. Specifically, Ms. Guerra translated for other employees who only spoke Spanish. EEOC alleged that Kevothermal’s restrictive language policy was national origin discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

EEOC filed EEOC v. Kevothermal, LLC (1:16-cv-852-MCA-LF) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In addition to paying $60,000 to Ms. Guerra, Kevothermal must also provide training on the EPA, national origin discrimination and retaliation to non-managerial employees, managers, supervisors and Kevothermal’s human resource official. Kevothermal is also required to implement a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sex, including unequal wages, and that prohibits national origin discrimination. Additionally, Kevothermal will ensure that its policy includes an explanation of how to report discrimination and an assurance of non-retaliation to employees who complain. Kevothermal will also regularly review its compliance with the EPA and adjust its employees’ compensation, if the company finds any disparity between the wages paid to employees of the opposite sex, who work in equal positions.

“Wage gaps have a wide and long-lasting impact, not only for the women who are paid less, but also for their children and families. The gap follows these women throughout their entire career, even affecting their retirement benefits. These broad impacts amount to nothing less than wage theft,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the Phoenix District Office.

“Enforcing equal pay laws is an important priority for the EEOC,” commented Phoenix District Director Elizabeth Cadle. “EEOC will continue to advocate for employees to be paid equally when they perform substantially equal work and ensure compliance with Title VII and the EPA.”

EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

EEOC Sues Camp Corporation for Sex and Disability Discrimination

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Federal Agency Says Worker was Twice Sued by Former Employer in Retaliation for Her Opposing Discrimination and Filing an EEOC Charge

HOUSTON – Carolina Creek Christian Camp, Inc. (CCCC), which operates a facility 90 miles northeast of Houston that is used for youth summer camps and retreats, demoted a worker because of her pregnancy and related medical issues, and then fired her and sued her twice after she stood up for her rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to EEOC’s suit, around February 2014, within a week of learning that Registrar Korrie Reed had developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, CCCC involuntarily removed her from her position “predominately because of” her “medical condition,” as stated in writing by CCCC. CCCC reasoned that the demotion was triggered by “her need to medically take care of herself and the baby.”

When Ms. Reed returned from maternity leave, she was moved to a different department, and placed in another subordinate position. On several occasions, Ms. Reed expressed to the CCCC Executive Director that she viewed her demotion from Registrar to be illegal and discriminatory. After she expressed this sentiment again in early January 2015, CCCC on January 9, 2015, fired Reed.

After Reed filed an EEOC charge of discrimination in January 2015 and hired an attorney, CCCC sued Reed on February 3, 2015. After the proceedings in that lawsuit were paused, CCCC sued Reed again in Summer 2015. EEOC contends that the lawsuits filed against Reed, and her firing, unlawfully retaliated against Reed for exercising her rights protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex (including pregnancy), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.

EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (Civil Action No. 4:16-cv-03714), after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The federal agency is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting CCCC from engaging in sex discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation. The EEOC is also seeking back pay on behalf of Ms. Reed, and compensatory and punitive damages and other relief on her behalf, including re-instatement to her position at CCCC.

“As in this case, when a worker is pregnant or has a medical condition that the employer views as a disability, but the employee is qualified to continue performing the job, an employer’s unfounded fears and biases are not valid excuses to deny equal employment opportunities,” said EEOC’s Houston District Director Rayford O. Irvin.

EEOC’s Houston Regional Attorney Rudy Sustaita said, “This lawsuit will send a message to employers that the EEOC will vigorously enforce federal law. We will prosecute companies which deny equal opportunity, and which sue employees — with no basis — to punish them for standing up for their rights.”

The Houston District Office of EEOC oversees parts of East Texas and Southeast Texas and Louisiana.

Saint Vincent Health Center To Pay $300,000 To Settle EEOC Religious Accommodation Lawsuit

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Hospital Refused To Grant Employees Religious Belief-Based Exemptions From Flu Vaccination Requirement and Instead Fired Them, Federal Agency Charged

ERIE, Pa. – Saint Vincent Health Center will pay $300,000 constituting back pay and compensatory damages to a class of six aggrieved former employees and provide substantial injunctive relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced. Senior U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein entered a consent decree on December 23, 2016. EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. EEOC v. Saint Vincent Health Center, Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-234, on Sept. 22, 2016, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Erie Division.

In its lawsuit, EEOC alleged that in October 2013, Saint Vincent Health Center (the Health Center) implemented a mandatory seasonal flu vaccination requirement for its employees unless they were granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Under the policy, employees who received an exemption were required to wear a face mask while having patient contact during flu season in lieu of receiving the vaccination. Employees who refused the vaccine but were not granted an exemption by the Health Center were fired, according to EEOC’s lawsuit. From October 2013 to January 2014, EEOC alleged, the six employees identified in its complaint requested religious exemptions from the Health Center’s flu vaccination requirement based on sincerely held religious beliefs, and the Health Center denied their requests. When the employees continued to refuse the vaccine based on their religious beliefs, the Health Center fired them. According to EEOC’s lawsuit, during this same period, the Health Center granted fourteen (14) vaccination exemption requests based on medical reasons while denying all religion-based exemption requests.

In addition to requiring monetary relief and offers of reinstatement for the six employees, the consent decree contains multiple injunctive components. Under the decree, if the Health Center chooses to require employee influenza vaccination as a condition of employment, it must grant exemptions from that requirement to all employees with sincerely held religious beliefs who request exemption from the vaccination on religious grounds unless such exemption poses an undue hardship on the Health Center’s operations, and it must also notify employees of their right to request religious exemption and establish appropriate procedures for considering any such accommodation requests. The decree also requires that when considering requests for religious accommodation, the Health Center must adhere to the definition of “religion” established by Title VII and controlling federal court decisions, a definition that forbids employers from rejecting accommodation requests based on their disagreement with an employee’s belief; their opinion that the belief is unfounded, illogical, or inconsistent in some way; or their conclusion that an employee’s belief is not an official tenet or endorsed teaching of any particular religion or denomination. The decree further requires that the Health Center provide training regarding Title VII reasonable accommodation to its key personnel and that it maintain reasonable accommodation policies and accommodation request procedures that reflect Title VII requirements.

“While Title VII does not prohibit health care employers from adopting seasonal flu vaccination requirements for their workers, those requirements, like any other employment rules, are subject to the employer’s Title VII duty to provide reasonable accommodation for religion,” said Philadelphia District regional attorney, Debra M. Lawrence.  “In that context, reasonable accommodation means granting religious exemptions to employees with sincerely held religious beliefs against vaccination when such exemptions do not create an undue hardship on the employer’s operations.  We are pleased that Saint Vincent Health Center worked cooperatively with EEOC to reach an early, reasonable resolution of this case.”

 

EEOC District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. added, “We are pleased this settlement compensates the victims for the harm they suffered and contains injunctive relief designed to prevent future religious discrimination.”

The Philadelphia District Office of the EEOC oversees Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.

EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.