A federal judge has approved a settlement by Aviation Concepts, Inc., an aircraft retailer and service provider for Guam, of a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a press release states. Armando Perez, an assistant mechanic and practicing Jehova’s Witness, was fired after he refused to raise the U.S. and Guam flag as it conflicted with his religious beliefs. Perez told his supervisor this, was sent home, and later fired that same day.
Aviation Concepts will pay $51,000 and furnish extensive relief to settle the EEOC’s suit. The federal agency first filed suit in September 2011. The press release states that religious discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Workers have the right to request an accommodation or exception to work tasks or practices that conflict with their religious beliefs,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office.
Aviation Concepts agreed to revise its methods; including: appointing an equal employment opportunity consultant; changing their policies to better accommodate sincerely held beliefs; additional training how to handle requests; methods of educating employees about religious accommodations and anti-discrimination, according to the press release.
“Employers cannot ignore or summarily dismiss religious accommodation requests by workers. Companies who fire, discipline or otherwise negatively impact workers who exercise this right violate federal law,” said Timothy Riera, local director for the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office, which has jurisdiction over Guam.
For more information about the EEOC, visit www.eeoc.gov.