Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for a sincerely held religious belief, absent undue hardship, and retaliating against an employee who makes such a request violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the conciliation process.
Besides providing monetary relief, the three-year consent decree signed by Senior District Judge Leon Jordan on September 20, 2011, enjoins Lowe’s from any future refusal to accommodate the religious beliefs of its employees or retaliating against any employee for requesting a religious accommodation. The decree provides that Lowe’s will make an addendum to its human resource management guide. In addition, Lowe’s will provide employment discrimination awareness training to its store managers, assistant managers, and human resource managers in the East Tennessee area, and post a notice regarding the settlement.
The employee initially denied the reasonable accommodation now works in a position that does not require him to work on his Sabbath.
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