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."