Saturday, June 30, 2007

EEOC Sues Vonage for Religious Discrimination

Catching up on some employment discrimination news reported this past week, the Houston Chronicle reported this past Tuesday:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Vonage Holdings Corp. on Tuesday, alleging the company discriminated against a Jewish employee by failing to accommodate his need for religious observances.    

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Newark, N.J., the EEOC alleges Vonage and its Vonage America Inc. unit didn't allow Mikhail Rozenberg, an Orthodox Jew, to participate in training because he had to miss time to observe Jewish holidays in fall 2005 and didn't accommodate his request for a schedule where he didn't work on Saturdays in order to observe the Sabbath ...

"Defendants' management representative told Rozenberg, 'You will not fit here,' and that when he stopped practicing his religion, he could come back," the lawsuit alleges.

Even under the de minimis test of Hardison for religious accommodation, if the allegations are true, Vonage may have a difficult time defending the actions of its managers.

Hat Tip:  Steve Sholk


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