ATLANTA, GA – The Pollard Agency, a contract security company, will pay more than $49,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
In its suit, the EEOC alleges that the Pollard Agency discriminated against security guard Marian Lawson by firing her rather than accommodating her religious practice of wearing a head scarf. Pollard, whose belief as a Mennonite Baptist requires the scarf, was fired from a client location in Monticello, Georgia.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to reasonably accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of employees and job applicants so long as such measures do not cause undue hardship to the employer. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief of $49,556, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and postings. In the suit and consent decree, Pollard denied any liability or wrongdoing.