WINTERVILLE, N.C. (Legal
Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that
Greenville Ready Mixed Concrete Inc. in North Carolina will pay $42,500 after
allegations of religious discrimination.
According to the EEOC, Michael
Cole worked as a truck driver for the company starting in 2007. Cole is a
Seventh-day Adventist, a faith that requires him not to work for hire on
Saturdays. Greenville’s facilities were usually closed Saturdays. Its
employees rarely had to work on that day of the week.
However, the company
allegedly asked Cole to work Saturday, March 22, 2014. Cole purportedly explained
his religious situation, and the company failed to accommodate him, firing him
instead. Alleged conduct of this nature violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights
Act, which holds that employers must attempt to make reasonable accommodations
for sincerely held religious beliefs.
"We are pleased with
this settlement," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's
Charlotte District Office. "EEOC hopes this case serves as a reminder
to employers that unless providing a reasonable accommodation would impose an
undue hardship on the company, the accommodation must be provided. No one
should ever be forced to choose between his religion and his job."