A US man who suffered religious discrimination for refusing to work on a Sunday has received a substantial pay out.
Isavion Howard, who worked for an Amazon delivery service in Florida, was sacked because he attended church rather than fulfil a Sunday shift, despite having negotiated Sundays off due to his faith.
After the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a lawsuit on Howard’s behalf against his employer, the Tampa Bay Delivery Service, it agreed to reach a settlement.
According to the lawsuit, the owner of the delivery company said Howard “could have Sundays off to attend church”, if he agreed to work Saturdays.
In a press release following the settlement, the EEOC said: “When Tampa Bay Delivery Service scheduled the employee for a Sunday shift, the employee reminded the dispatcher that he could not work on Sundays due to his religion.
“He was terminated when he failed to show up for the Sunday shift.”
The company will now pay Howard $25,000 in lost income and a further $25,000 in damages, as well as taking measures to prevent religious discrimination in the workplace.
Religious beliefs protected
Regional attorney for the EEOC Robert E. Weisberg said: “We commend Tampa Bay Delivery Service for working collaboratively with EEOC to resolve this lawsuit.
“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.”
The EEOC also said: “We encourage other employers to follow Tampa Bay Delivery Service’s lead and review their religious accommodation policies and practices to ensure that workers are not denied opportunities due to their religious beliefs.”