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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

EEOC accuses Maryland logistics company of religious discrimination

By Mark Iandolo | May 24, 2017

Discrimination 14

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit May 16 against XPO Mile Inc., a logistics company, for allegations of refusing to hire a Jewish job candidate who could not work on Rosh Hashanah due to his religious beliefs.

"Federal law requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to work schedules or rules that will allow an applicant or employee to practice his or her religion unless it would be an undue hardship," said EEOC Philadelphia District Office director Spencer H. Lewis Jr. "Unfortunately, XPO Last Mile's intransigent refusal to provide a religious accommodation cost them the services of a hard worker and led to this lawsuit."

According to allegations, Tzvi McCloud was hired by XPO Last Mile to serve as a dispatcher at its Elridge, Maryland, office, and asked him to begin work Oct. 3, 2016. McCloud said he celebrated Rosh Hashanah on that date and asked to start Oct. 4, the EEOC said. 

The company allegedly told McCloud that it only honored federal holidays. When McCloud failed to show up Oct. 3 and then showed up for work on Oct. 4, XPO Last Mile purportedly sent him home and withdrew his offer.

"The freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs is one of our nation's fundamental values,” said EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “Mr. McCloud simply asked if he could start work one day later than scheduled so he could observe Rosh Hashanah, one of the Jewish High Holy Days. A one-day postponement of a start date is not an undue hardship."

The EEOC seeks back pay and reinstatement, plus compensatory and punitive damages. It also seeks injunctive relief to ensure XPO Last Mile follows anti-discrimination laws in the future.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission