Most religious discrimination lawsuits involve allegations of subtle mistakes—e.g., a manager didn’t understand that an employee had a legitimate need for religious accommodation. But there was nothing subtle about the allegations in a recently settled case involving Cincinnati-based Convergys Corp.
The suit arose after Shannon Fantroy applied for a customer service position at a Convergys call center. During an interview, she revealed that her religion bars her from working on the Jewish Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The Convergys recruiter cut off the interview then and there, stating that Fantroy would not even be considered for the job unless she could work Saturdays.
Fantroy complained to the EEOC, alleging Convergys failed to discuss possible religious accommodations. It was a slam-dunk case. Rather than going to trial, Convergys elected to settle, agreeing to pay Fantroy $15,000.
A two-year consent decree requires Convergys recruiters to be trained on religious discrimination. In addition, all job applicants will receive a notice stating that accommodations may be available.
Advice: Do you use outside recruiters or staffing agencies to find employees? Make sure they have been trained to avoid discriminatory behavior.
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