Protection from religious discrimination is found in Title VII. Title VII requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless doing so would impose an undue hardship. Recently, a Florida hotel dishwasher received a federal court jury verdict awarding her damages for religious discrimination.
Marie Jean Pierre worked as a dishwasher at the Conrad Miami hotel, previously managed by Hilton, for nearly 10 years. Ms. Pierre stated in her complaint, that when she began her employment, she notified her supervisor that she was unable to work on Sundays. Ms. Pierre is a missionary and, based on her beliefs, observes Sundays as a day of rest. Ms. Pierre’s complaint explained that she was allowed to be off on Sundays, until 2015. In 2015, Ms. Pierre’s kitchen manager insisted that she work on Sundays. For a short period of time, Ms. Pierre was able to switch shifts with other employees to avoid working on Sundays, but eventually Ms. Pierre was scheduled to work on several Sundays and did not report for work or have another employee cover her shift. In 2016 Ms. Pierre was terminated for unexcused absences, negligence, and alleged misconduct.
The jury awarded Ms. Pierre a considerably large verdict to compensate her back wages and emotional pain and mental anguish.
Our Birmingham, Alabama employment law firm has handled a number of discrimination cases throughout the State of Alabama. If you feel you may been discriminated on the basis of your religion, race, gender, nationality, age, or disability please contact us at (205) 588-0699 for a free consultation to discuss your potential case.