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EEOC reaches $25,000 deal with the NFB over religious discrimination allegations

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 12, 2016


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the National Federation for the Blind will pay $25,000 and furnish significant equitable relief over allegations of religious discrimination.

Joseph R. Massey II, a practicing Hebrew Pentecostal, worked as a bookkeeper at the NFB, the largest organization of blind and low-vision people in the United States, the EEOC states. Massey abstains from working from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday due to his religious beliefs, the EEOC claims.

Charges state that about two months after he began working, the NFB asked him to work on Saturdays. Massey is claimed to have provided reasonable alternatives, like working on Sundays or working late during the week. The NFB allegedly refused and fired him abruptly.

"The 21st century workforce is increasingly diverse, so employers must be prepared to address requests for a reasonable accommodation," EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., said. "It is in everyone's best interest when managers talk to an employee about his or her request for religious accommodation and explore options that will keep someone employed, such as adjusting a work schedule to allow the observation of the employee's Sabbath, instead of jumping to termination."

In addition to monetary relief, the NFB is enjoined from engaging in religious discrimination as part of a 30-month consent decree.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission