EEOC Brings Religious Discrimination Suit Against NC Hospice

June 8, 2006 ( - The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said a North Carolina hospice discriminated against a woman when it fired her for refusing to attend an employee "prayer circle."

class=”articletitle”> According to the EEOC, former registered nurse for the hospice, Dorene Sampson, a Jehovah’s Witness, was required to regularly attend a “prayer circle” from about January until March 2005. In March 2005 she refused to attend any longer and was fired, CCH reported.

class=”articletitle”> According to CCH, the lawsuit is seeking back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

class=”articletitle”> “In a society that values religious freedom, you would expect it to be common sense that employers cannot force their employees to take part in a religious ceremony as a condition of their continued employment,” Reuben Daniels, Jr., Director of the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, told CCH.