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Press Release 12-07-2021

Solé Miami to Pay $99,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Resort Hotel Refused to Accommodate Seventh-day Adventist Employee, Federal Agency Charged

MIAMI – Noble House Solé, LLC, a resort hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., will pay $99,000 to a terminated room attendant who needed Saturdays off due to her religious beliefs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Solé Miami accommodated the employee’s Sabbath observance for over ten months after she began her employment without incident.  Unfortunately, when a new supervisor came onboard, Solé Miami scheduled the employee to work on a Saturday.  When the employee missed work, Solé Miami immediately terminated her, even though employees that missed work for non-religious reasons were given multiple warnings prior to termination.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on religion and requires employers to reasonably accommodate an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it would post 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.

In addition to monetary relief, the consent decree resolving the suit requires Solé Miami to create an anti-religious discrimination policy, implement training for management and human resources personnel, educate its workforce, post a notice about the anti-discrimination laws, and adopt new language in its job applications.  Solé Miami also must appoint a religious accommodations decision maker and report to the EEOC on all requests for religious accommodations for the next three years.

“The reporting requirements in EEOC’s consent decree are a significant and important component of the relief in this case,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Weisberg. “By reviewing all requests for religious accommodations over the next three years, EEOC can ensure that Solé Miami is on the right track to provide employees and applicants with religious accommodations which do not impose an undue hardship.”

Paul Valenti, district director for the Miami District Office, added, “Florida is a religiously diverse state, and EEOC receives many charges alleging religious discrimination where an employer refuses to modify a work schedule.  We hope this case educates employers of their legal obligation to grant requests for religious accommodations where it would not impose an undue hardship.”

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  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.