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PRESS RELEASE
3-12-12

Menorah House Settles EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuits

Company  Refused Sabbath Accommodations, Federal Agency Charged

BOCA RATON, Fla.  – A Boca Raton nursing and rehabilitation facility will pay $125,000 to settle  two religious discrimination lawsuits brought by the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suits (Civil Action Nos. 11-80825-CIV-KLR and 12-80172-CIV-KLR,  filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) charged  that Boca Group LLC, doing business as Menorah House, denied a religious  accommodation to two certified nursing assistants who were Seventh-Day  Adventists and fired them because of their religious beliefs. Menorah House had accommodated the two women’s  religious needs for at least eight years, until management instituted a policy  requiring all employees to work on Saturdays, regardless of their religious  beliefs.

Such alleged conduct violates Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination  and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’  sincerely held religious beliefs so long as this does not pose an undue  hardship. The EEOC filed suit after  first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process.

The consent decree settling the two  lawsuits was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Ryskamp on March 9,  2012. In the decree, Menorah House  agreed to revise its written discrimination policies with respect to religious  discrimination and to post anti-discrimination notices at all of its  facilities. In addition, Menorah House  will conduct anti-discrimination training to all employees, including managers,  supervisors and human resources personnel, with an emphasis on accommodating  religion in the workplace.

“We hope this lawsuit sends a  message to all employers to be vigilant in ensuring a fair and equitable work  environment for all employees regardless of their religion,” said Robert  Weisberg, the EEOC regional attorney for the Miami District.

Malcolm  Medley, director of the EEOC’s Miami District Office, added, “Under the law, it  is incumbent upon employers to accommodate an employee’s request for a religious  accommodation when it would not impose an undue hardship. The EEOC will continue to act when employers  fail to meet that obligation.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site  at www.eeoc.gov.