An employee in Florida who negotiated his work schedule around going to church was fired after he failed to show up for a Sunday shift, according to court documents.
Now the company owes him $50,000.
Tampa Bay Delivery Service LLC, an Amazon delivery partner out of Florida, agreed to settle allegations of religious discrimination after the former worker filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC, which is tasked with enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, launched a lawsuit on his behalf last year.
Under the terms of the agreement, which a federal judge approved on Jan. 27, Tampa Bay Delivery Service denied any wrongdoing but agreed to provide better training to managers and dispatchers as well as hire a religious accommodation coordinator.
“We commend Tampa Bay Delivery Service for working collaboratively with EEOC to resolve this lawsuit,” Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC Miami District, said in a news release. “The company’s willingness to address EEOC’s concerns will help in preventing future employees from being forced to choose between employment and a religious belief.”
A representative and lawyers for Tampa Bay Delivery Service did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Monday, Jan. 31.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, Tampa Bay Delivery service hired the man in May 2019 as a delivery driver. He reportedly told the company during the hiring process that he could not work on Sundays because he is a Christian and attends church on Sundays.
The owner agreed — if the man agreed to work on Saturdays, according to the lawsuit.
About four months later, Tampa Bay Delivery Service scheduled the employee to work a Sunday shift, the EEOC said. He told them that he could not work that day and went to church instead. The company fired him later that same day, the complaint states.
The former employee filed a charge of religious discrimination with the EEOC shortly thereafter, and the agency determined there was reasonable grounds to believe Tampa Bay Delivery Service had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Its attempts to resolve the matter outside of court fell short, and the EEOC filed a complaint in the Middle District of Florida on Sept. 29.
The parties filed a proposed consent decree around the same time, which the judge didn’t approve until last week, court documents show.
Under the two-and-a-half-year agreement, Tampa Bay Delivery Service will pay the former worker $25,000 in back pay and $25,000 in compensatory damages. The company also agreed to:
Designate someone as the “Religious Accommodations Decision maker” who will decide all requests for religious accommodations from employees
Create an anti-religious discrimination policy
Post a public notice about the EEOC’s allegations and resulting settlement
Provide 90 minutes of in-person training on religious discrimination to all managers and supervisors
Furnish a written report to the EEOC every six months for the duration of the decree
Another ‘After-School Satan Club’ is approved, this time at an Ohio elementary school
‘Punched in the gut’: Jewish couple was denied adoption due to religion, lawsuit says
Evangelist radio host Dave Ramsey fired worker who wanted COVID precautions, suit says
Greyhound accused of discriminating against Muslim bus driver. Now it has to pay up