ASHVILLE, N.C. (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has sued Mission Hospital Inc.
for allegedly violating federal law by failing to accommodate employees’
Mission Hospital purportedly requires its employees to
receive a flu vaccination annually. According to EEOC’s complaint, certain employees asked to not receive the
vaccine due to religious beliefs, but did so after a deadline. Mission
Hospital allegedly denied the requests and fired the employees.
"Under federal law, employers must attempt a fair
balance between an employee's right to practice his or her religion and the operation
of their business," Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's
Charlotte District Office, said. "An arbitrary deadline does not protect
an employer from its obligation to provide a religious accommodation. An
employer must consider, at the time it receives a request for a religious
accommodation, whether the request can be granted without undue burden. This
case demonstrates EEOC's commitment to fighting religious discrimination in the
EEOC will seek back pay, compensatory damages, punitive
damages and reinstatement or front pay.