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A Senior Living Facility Reaches A Religious Discrimination Settlement With The EEOC

Senior Living Properties, LLC, which owns 35 senior assisted living facilities, has reached a $42,500 settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) following allegations of  religious discrimination.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Amanda Spalding, dietary services manager at the company’s Sweetwater Healthcare Center, sought to be excused from working on Sundays based on religious observances consistent with her Christian faith.  During her 3 years of employment with the facility, Spalding was not required to work Sundays, until administrator, Peggy Scruggs was hired.  Spalding claims that, after Scruggs was hired, she told Spalding that she was required to work on Sundays, telling her that God would her excuse her from this religious restriction because she worked in the health care field.  The EEOC charged that Scruggs disregarded Spalding’s requests that she not work on Sundays and told her that if she would not work on Sundays, “there’s the door.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’ and applicants’ sincerely held religious beliefs as long as this does not pose an undue hardship.

In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree requires the company to:

  • amend its written anti-discrimination policy to include language regarding Title VII’s prohibition on religious discrimination and a provision regarding legal obligations for an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to employees based on their religious belief, including beliefs necessitating not working on a particular day or days of the week;
  • conduct annual training for 3 years on the law against religious discrimination in the workplace, an employee’s right to have his/her religious beliefs accommodated in the workplace, the types of accommodations that may be granted to employees due to their religious beliefs and the proper procedure for investigating complaints; and
  • post an anti-discrimination policy for 5 years at its corporate headquarters

If your employer had violated California or Federal Labor Laws please call Los Angeles Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at 877-449-8898 for a free consultation.