Senior Living Facility Must Pay $25,000 for Discriminating Against Muslim Applicant
The EEOC said that the director of health and wellness at the facility asked the certified nursing assistant applicant if she would be willing to remove her hijab, expressing concerns that if she were hired, the head covering may interfere with her ability to work as a CAN. The applicant responded that she had worn her hijab throughout her nursing training, which included working in the operating room, and it had never interfered with her ability to perform her duties. Although she was told she would be contacted if someone were interested in her, she was never contacted, nor was she one of ten CNAs who were hired by the employer in September 2010, EEOC says.
The EEOC filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which obligates employers to accommodate an employee’s or applicant’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it creates an undue hardship.
In addition to the monetary relief the consent decree settling the suit enjoins the senior living home from further discriminating against any individual on the basis of religion; requires religious discrimination training to supervisors, managers and all involved in the hiring process; to post a notice stating the company’s commitment to maintaining an environment free of religious discrimination; and submit copies of any complaints about religious discrimination to the EEOC for a period of two years.