Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor, a skilled nursing and long-term care facility in Ann Arbor, will pay $35,000 to settle a religious discrimination suit.
In its lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) in late 2011, the EEOC alleged that Whitehall discriminated against a certified nursing assistant because of her request for a religious accommodation. The employee is a Jehovah’s Witness.
She asked that her employer not schedule her to work on Wednesdays or Sundays so she could attend spiritual meetings and participate in field service as a part of her sincerely held religious belief. The worker was fired when she informed her boss that she was unable to work on Sundays, according to the EEOC.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Whitehall Healthcare of Ann Arbor, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-15407) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The approval of a consent decree by Judge Avern Cohn brings a formal end to the litigation between the EEOC and Whitehall. In addition to paying $35,000 to the discrimination victim, the resolution requires the company to provide training to all employees regarding requests for religious accommodations, create a new religious accommodation policy and file reports with the EEOC regarding compliance with the decree’s requirements.
EEOC Trial Attorney Lauren Gibbs, Supervisory Trial Attorney Kenneth Bird, and Regional Attorney Laurie Young led the government’s litigation.