Agudath Israel of America today hailed the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for bringing a lawsuit against a franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts. The lawsuit, brought against Citi Brands, LLC, charges that the franchise violated federal law by refusing to hire an employee because his religion forbade him from working on his Sabbath.
The employee, Darrell Litrell, is a Seventh-day Adventist who will not work from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. He had applied for a position of a donut maker and was given the job, only to have the job offer revoked once the employer was told that Litrell would not work on his Sabbath. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from refusing to hire people because of their religion, and requires employers to make an effort at a reasonable accommodation for sincerely held religious beliefs.
Mordechai Biser, General Counsel of Agudath Israel, stated, “we applaud the EEOC for bringing this lawsuit. Employers need to know that it is illegal to refuse to hire an employee because of his or her religion, and that they are required by federal law to attempt to accommodate Sabbath observers in the workplace. Whether the employee is a Seventh-day Adventist, an Orthodox Jew, or anyone else who observes a day as his or her Sabbath, employers must make a reasonable effort to accommodate that observance.”