Saturday, October 15, 2011

Update: Hajj Religious Accommodation Case Settles

A quick update on a previous Lawffice Space Case of the Week: 19 Days Off for Hajj as a Religious Accommodation. The case involved a math teacher who requested time off for an Islamic pilgrimage known as a "Hajj." The request was denied, forcing her to choose between her job and her religion... she chose the latter. The Justice Department filed suit and issued a press release on Thursday, announcing that a settlement had been reached:
Under the terms of the consent decree, Berkeley School District will pay $75,000 to Ms. Khan for lost back pay, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees. Berkeley School District also is required to develop and distribute a religious accommodation policy consistent with Title VII’s requirement to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs, practices and/or observances of all employees and prospective employees. In addition, Berkeley School District is required to provide mandatory training on religious accommodation to all board of education members, supervisors, managers, administrators and human resources officials who participate in decisions on religious accommodation requests made by its employees and prospective employees.
In case you were wondering, the DOJ (instead of the EEOC) handles employment discrimination claims for state and local government employees.

HT: Volokh Conspiracy: $75,000 Settlement for Muslim Teacher Denied 19 Days’ Unpaid Leave for Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca).

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.