Schneiderman settles with consulting firm over religious observances

Bryan Cohen Jun. 11, 2012, 9:30am


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Friday with an engineering and architectural consulting firm that allegedly failed to reasonably accommodate the religious observance requirements of a prospective employee.

Milrose Consultants, a company with offices in three states, including two in the state of New York, allegedly maintained a "no religious accommodations" policy. The settlement ensures that future and current employee requests for religious accommodations are held in accordance with the New York City Human Rights Law, Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Law.

"A company depriving current or future employees of their religious rights is intolerable - no one's employment should be endangered because he or she observes the Sabbath," Schneiderman said.

"The law ensures that employees can balance the requirements of their faith with the responsibilities of their work. My office will continue to both protect the religious freedom of employees, and educate employers about their obligations to respect the faiths of their workers."

Schneiderman's office received a complaint in 2011 alleging that Milrose discriminated against a new hire. Milrose allegedly rescinded an employment offer after learning that the prospective employee observed a Saturday Sabbath and would occasionally need an accommodation to leave work early to return home prior to Friday sundown.

Milrose allegedly maintained a "no religious accommodations" policy, no formal procedure or policy for employees to request religious accommodations or for managers and supervisors to evaluate the requests, and no training or directives for supervisors and managers to make sure that requests for the accommodations are properly assessed and reviewed.

Under the terms of the settlement, Milrose Consultants must create new policies for religious accommodation, train managers to make sure such requests are evaluated in accordance with law and inform employees of their right to request religious accommodations.

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