Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EEOC Settles Religious Discrimination Suit Over Applicant Rejected for Not Being Able to Work Saturdays

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a settlement in a religious discrimination suit filed against Convergys Customer Management Group, a subsidiary of the Cincinnati-based Convergys Corp, a global provider of customer management services.  Convergys will pay $15,000 to the Plaintiff, Shannon Fantroy, who applied for a job with the Defendant but was cut off during the interview when he told the Defendant that he could not work Saturdays for religious purposes.  Specifically, Fantroy’s religious beliefs as a Hebrew Israelite require him to observe the Sabbath from sunup until sundown on Saturday. A recruiter for Convergys interviewed Fantroy and told him that he would have to work weekends. The Commission said that Fantroy informed the recruiter that he was unable to work on Saturdays due to his religious beliefs. The recruiter then told Fantroy that the interview was over unless he could work Saturdays, the EEOC asserted.

Part of the settlement agreement also included a consent decree, which will have to be approved by the court, that provides injunctive relief, including training for recruiters on religious discrimination and accommodation law, and a new procedure for recruiters that will allow applicants to request a religious accommodation once they are offered a job, and will require the interview/application process to be completed even if the applicant informs the recruiter about the need for a schedule adjustment. In addition, all applicants during the decree’s two-year term will receive written notice that they may be entitled to an accommodation.

The case is EEOC v Convergys Customer Mgmt Group, No 4:11-cv-00395-AGF

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