Convergys Customer Management Group, a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Convergys Corp., will pay $15,000 to a Hebrew Israelite man who was turned away for a job because he could not work on Saturdays for religious reasons.
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the man applied for a customer service position at Convergys’s call center in Hazelwood, Missouri. During his job interview, a recruiter for Convergys told him that he would have to work weekends. When the applicant replied that he could not work Saturdays because he observed the Sabbath from sunup until sundown, the recruiter reportedly ended the interview.
In addition to paying damages, Convergys agreed to train recruiters on religious discrimination law; adopt a procedure to allow applicants to request religious accommodations once they are offered a job; and complete the application process even if an applicant requests a schedule adjustment. For the next 2 years, Convergys will also notify all applicants in writing that they may be entitled to an accommodation.
The applicant “never had a chance to discuss accommodation options because the recruiter simply cut him off once he stated that because of his religious beliefs he could not work on Saturday,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Barbara Seely. “Giving an employee an alternate schedule where hundreds of employees are available to cover the shift was not an unreasonable request.”