Magnetics International, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation that recycles steel byproducts, will pay $30,000 to a Christian worker who was fired because he refused to work consecutive Sundays, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced.
The employee was hired as a laborer at a Magnetics facility in Burn Harbor, Indiana. Before he accepted the job, the worker was reportedly told that he would not be required to work consecutive Sundays, his Sabbath. When Magnetics scheduled him to work a second consecutive Sunday, the worker said that he could not work because of his religious obligations to his church and reminded the company of its initial commitment. Magnetics forced the worker to choose between working the scheduled Sunday shift and losing his job, effectively firing him.
In addition to paying the worker, the company agreed to track and respond appropriately to requests for religious accommodation for the next 3 years; post a non-discrimination policy; provide appropriate training; and report on its progress to the EEOC.
“Federal law is clear that employers must make a reasonable effort to accommodate sincerely-held religious beliefs,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie Young. “Doing so is the best way to avoid lawsuits like this.”