Press Release 02-24-2021

EEOC Sues Solé Miami for Religious Discrimination

Resort Hotel Fired Seventh-day Adventist After She Refused to Work on Saturdays Due to Her Religious Beliefs, Federal Agency Charges

MIAMI – Noble House Solé, LLC, a resort hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., violated federal law when it fired a room attendant because she could not work on Saturdays due to her religious beliefs, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Solé Miami accommodated the employee’s Sabbath observance for over ten months without incident. When a new director of housekeeping started work there, however, she scheduled the employee for a Saturday shift. When the employee reminded Solé Miami that she could not work on her Sabbath, she was told, “If you are unable to work on Saturdays, your place is not here.” Solé Miami then term­inated the employee after she failed to report to work on the first Saturday she was scheduled, the EEOC said.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion and requires employers to reasonably accommodate an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it would pose an undue hardship. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division (EEOC v. Noble House Sole, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-20754-MGC), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

“Employees should not have to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood,” said EEOC regional attorney Robert Weisberg. “If an employer can accommodate an employee’s request not to work on the Sabbath without undue hardship, it should do so.”

Bradley A. Anderson, acting district director for the Miami District Office, added, “When there is a conflict between an employee’s religious beliefs and work rules, the law requires employers to look for workable solutions. This lawsuit reflects the EEOC’s commitment to protecting the rights of emp­loyees to be free from religious discrimination in the workplace, including through litigation when necessary.”

The Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.