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Settlement brings soft landing for Mesaba religious bias case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

Mesaba Airlines, which operates short-haul flights for Delta and Northwest Airlines, has reached an agreement with the EEOC on religious discrimination claims filed by several employees.

The suit began when Mesaba fired customer service agent Linda Vellejos after she refused to work on the Jewish Sabbath.

At the heart of the disagreement was Mesaba’s policy of not allowing workers to swap shifts during their initial 90-day probationary period. Vellejos and four Christian employees who refused to work shifts that interfered with their worship services filed complaints against the airline in federal court in Minnesota.

The airline will pay $130,000 to the employees, reinstate them to their positions and train supervisors concerning workers’ rights to religious accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The company will also re-evaluate its no-shift-swapping policy in light of the litigation.

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