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Press Release 07-21-2010

Louisville Marriott Managing Company to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – White Lodging Services, Inc., which manages the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel, will pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC(s suit, the company failed to provide an accommdation to four Somali women of the Moslem faith by not allowing them to work while wearing their hijab or head scarf, as is their custom of their faith.

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 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division (Civil Action No. 3:06-cv-00353-CRS) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court through its conciliation process.

White Lodging Services agreed to a two-year consent decree in which it agreed to pay $40,000 in monetary compensation. White Lodging Services also agreed to provide training to all of its employees concerning Title VII as it pertains to religious discrimination in the workplace.

Laurie Young, regional attorney for the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office, said, "Discrimination because of a person's religion is illegal and will not be tolerated. While that should be clear by now to all employers, some of them sadly continue to ignore the law. Employers should be on notice that the EEOC will act aggressively to protect people from this type of discrimination."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at