Burns Harbor business fined for not accommodating worker’s request
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2012 4:22PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 1:02PM
A Burns Harbor company has agreed to pay $30,000 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Office.
The EEOC sued Magnetics International Inc., which is based in Pennsylvania and has a plant in Burns Harbor, in September 2011 after an employee, Daniel Bewley, filed a complaint saying he was fired because of his religion.
According to a release sent Wednesday from the EEOC, Bewley is a practicing Christian who had told Magnetics when he was first hired that he could not work two consecutive Sunday shifts because he needed to attend Sunday church services at least once every two weeks.
The company at first complied with this, according to the release, but then scheduled him for two Sundays in a row. When Bewley complained, the company fired him instead of changing the schedule, the EEOC said in its release.
“The company refused to attempt a reasonable accommodation, as federal law requires, and which would have prevented this problem,” the release says.
Along with the $30,000 payment, Magnetics must also track for three years all requests dealing with religious accommodations and respond to them appropriately. The company must also trains its employees on non-discrimination.
Laurie Young, regional attorney for the EEOC in Indiana, said that companies cannot discriminated against anyone based on religion and that they must make a “reasonable effort” to work with people on religious issues.
“Doing so is the best way to avoid lawsuits like this,” Young said in the release.