Illegal to Fire Employee for Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

     A company will reportedly pay $42,500 and other relief to settle a discrimination lawsuit that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against it.  The EEOC alleged that the company refused to accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs and subsequently fired the employee for his religious beliefs for refusing to work on a Saturday.  Cole’s religious beliefs mandated that he not work on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath, and the company was typically closed on Saturdays, with only limited exceptions.  The company requested that Cole work on a Saturday.  Cole told the company that he could not work on Saturdays because of his religious beliefs, and the company fired Cole for refusing to work that Saturday.  An employer cannot fire an employee for their sincerely-held religious beliefs pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Title VII requires employers to provide employees with reasonable accommodations for their sincerely held religious beliefs unless the accommodations would create an undue hardship.  See EEOC v. Greenville Ready Mix Concrete, Inc., No. 4:16-cv-00094-BO (E.D.N.C.).

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