EEOC Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit for Failure to Accommodate Not Working the Jewish Sabbath

     The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a lawsuit against trucking company J.C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc..  The lawsuit alleges that the company fired an employee truck driver for his religious beliefs.  The EEOC’s Complaint claims that the employee was a 35-year practicing Hebrew Pentecostal, which required him not to engage in any labor on the Biblical Sabbath, which lasts from sunset on Fridays to sunset on Saturdays.  The lawsuit also alleges that the employee informed the truck supervisor and foreman that he is a practicing Hebrew Pentecostal, and that he informed them about his observation of the Sabbath during his pre-hire interview.  The employee told the foreman and supervisor that he would need to be accommodated by not working on Saturdays.   Weeks after he was hired, the company required the employee to work on a Saturday, which he did while also informing the company that he would not work on Saturday again.  About a year and a half later, the company demanded the he work on Saturday again, which the employee refused, and he was subsequently terminated.  The alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their religion.  See EEOC v. J.C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc., No. 2:17-cv-00745-DCN-MGB (D.S.C. 2017).

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