Employers Must Provide Reasonable Accommodations Requested Based on a Religious Belief or Practice

October 18, 2019

According to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Center One, LLC, violated Title VII by refusing to provide religious accommodations for an employee's religious observance. A call center employee of the Buffalo, New York-based call center company’s Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, location, who is an adherent of Messianic Judaism, allegedly sought a reasonable accommodation of his religious beliefs and practice that he abstain from work on days of religious observance. Center One purportedly imposed disciplinary points against him for his absences in observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The employer required the employee to provide a certification from a religious leader or religious organization "on letterhead" as a precondition of granting him time off as a reasonable accommodation. The employee was not a member of a congregation at the time of his requests, but allegedly supplied other documents supporting his need for the religious accommodation. Center One wrongfully persisted in its demand that the employee provide certification from a religious leader or organization and forbade the employee from taking any additional days off for upcoming religious holidays.