EEOC Reaches Significant Settlement in Prayer Accommodation Case

On August 6, 2017, the EEOC reached a significant settlement in a case against Electrolux. The case involved claims by a group of Muslim employees who were denied religious accommodations.

The employees had asked the company to allow them to break their fast shortly after sunset in accordance with the observation of Ramadan, the Islamic holiday that involves fasting from dawn to sunset every day for approximately one month annually. Electrolux changed its break time policies and interfered with the employees’ religious practices.

The claims were brought by the EEOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That law requires employers to attempt to make reasonable accommodations to employees if it does not cause any undue hardship to the employer. Minnesota law provides similar protections as well.

The settlement is a significant victory for all parties. It allows the Muslim employees to practice their sincere religious beliefs, while not causing an undue burden on the employer. Terms of the settlement include:

  • Electrolux will adjust break time schedule during the entire month of Ramadan to allow Muslim employees to pray and break their Ramadan fasts shortly after sunset in a safe environment, away from the production area.
  • Electrolux will also provide training to its employees at the St. Cloud facility on the requirements related to religious accommodation under federal law.
  • The company also agreed to report to the EEOC all future requests it receives for religious accommodations and how the requests were addressed by the company.

Ramadan began on August 9, shortly after the parties’ settlement in this case.

Teske Micko handles all types of employment law claims, including religious discrimination and failure to accommodate. Our firm has represented Muslim employees on a group basis for failing to provide reasonable religious accommodations.

If you have questions about your right to religious accommodations, contact Teske Micko today.