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April 25, 2013 / Teresa Mkhitarian

Voss Lighting to Settle $82,500 Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Voss lighting logo

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has brought suit against Voss Lighting, a Lincoln, Nebraska based supplier of replacement lighting products, for religious discrimination in violation of federal law.

According to the lawsuit, Voss had advertised an “operations manager” position through the website of a local church. Edward Wolfe learned about the job despite the fact that he did not attend the church. After his initial interview, only Wolfe’s personal religious information was forwarded to the branch manager with a recommendation that Wolfe be hired. During his interview with the branch manager, Wolfe was mainly asked about his religious beliefs and activities. For example, he was asked if he would be willing to go in early for Bible study classes before work. According to Wolfe, the branch manager was not satisfied with his responses to the religious questions and Wolfe was ultimately not hired.

The settlement awards $82,500 to Wolfe. The consent decree also requires Voss to post the EEOC notice prohibiting employment discrimination at all 21 locations of the company and a re-dissemination of anti-discrimination policies. Further, Voss must periodically report hiring information to the EEOC, use only religion-neutral advertising, and train its management on religious discrimination.

Federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits the impermissible consideration of religion in employment practices. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) places similar restrictions on employers. FEHA prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or potential employee because of a conflict between the employee’s religious belief and the employer’s requirement.

If you have been discriminated against at your place of employment on account of your religious beliefs, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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