June 21, 2024

HR’s 3 R’s – Race, Religion & Retaliation

Nope, it’s not the three R’s from our childhood: reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. A recent settlement announced by the EEOC reminds us.

The lawsuit alleges an employer subjected an employee to discrimination when it revoked his religious accommodation that allowed him to have Saturdays off to observe his Sabbath. The company also allegedly exposed another employee who is Israeli, to unlawful harassment that included likening him to a terrorist and mocking his religious beliefs.

It’s not just about money! The case was settled for $65,000.  The settlement decree includes an injunction against discrimination and retaliation, periodic reporting and monitoring by the EEOC, and training requirements for the employer.

Lessons learned? Be proactive. Ensure your harassment policy includes all forms of unlawful harassment and prohibits retaliation. Provide employees with reporting resources. Train employees about their rights and managers about their responsibilities to prevent and correct unlawful harassment.