ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Feb. 9 that Decostar Industries Inc., a company based in Carrollton, Georgia, that develops automotive parts, will pay $38,500 for allegations of religious discrimination.

According to EEOC, Dina Lucas Velasquez was an employee at Decostar, and she requested on numerous occasions to be excused from Saturday work because of her sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC says that although Decostar initially granted her request, it later denied the request and eventually discharged Velasquez. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"It is unconscionable and unlawful for employers to force members of their workforce to choose between their livelihood and their religion," said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the agency's Atlanta District Office, in a statement. "This settlement shows the EEOC's dedication to the protection of religious freedom in the workplace as well as the company's commitment to prevent similar circumstances from arising in the future."

In addition to a monetary penalty, Decostar must develop better policies for religious accommodations. Additionally, the company will post a notice to employees about the lawsuit.

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