We reported earlier today of an egregious Title VII case of discrimination based upon religion where a job applicant was grilled about his church, his beliefs, and even if and when “he was saved.” We expressed disbelief that a multi-state company either has no relevant polices or employee handbook, or conducts so little training that it’s managers are permitted to make such inquiries.
We just learned of another case, reported in Business Management Daily, in which the reporter seemed similarly bemused, stating by way of a preface that “Most religious discrimination lawsuits involve allegations of subtle mistakes—e.g., a manager didn’t understand that an employee had a legitimate need for religious accommodation. But there was nothing subtle about the allegations in a recenently settled case involving Cincinnati-based Convergys Corp.” Sounds like the Voss Electric case we discussed this morning, but with one difference – it was the company’s recruiter who ignored the law.
In this case, an applicant for a call center position informed the recruiter for the company that, for religious reasons, she could not work on the Jewish Sabbath. The recruiter told the applicant that she would not be considered for the job unless she could work Saturdays, and therefore stopped the interview. The applicant then filed an EEOC charge of discrimination.
As we have often noted, employees (or applicants) are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs – something that this recruiter apparently did not know, since he/she never discussed any possible accommodation with the applicant. But it was the company that paid the price for this recruiter’s lack of knowledge or understanding: they settled by paying the applicant $15,000, and entered into a two-year consent decree which obligates it to make sure that its recruiters are trained on religious discrimination, and requires it to notify all future applicants that accommodations may be available.
Once again — training, training, and yet more training!