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Press Release 02-01-2022

Wellpath to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Case

Health Care Company Denied Religious Accommodation for a Correctional Nurse To Wear a Scrub Skirt, Federal Agency Charged

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Tennessee-based Wellpath, LLC, a provider of health services in correctional facilities, will pay $75,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a religious discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a nurse who is a practicing Apostolic Pentecostal Christian was hired by Wellpath to work in the GEO Central Texas Correctional Facility in downtown San Antonio. Before reporting to work, the nurse told a Wellpath human resources employee that her religious beliefs require her to dress modestly and to wear a scrub skirt instead of scrub pants while at work. In response, Wellpath denied the request for her religion-based accommodation and rescinded the nurse’s job offer. According to the suit, the nurse had worn a scrub skirt in other nursing jobs, including at a juvenile correctional facility.

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 suit, Civil Action No. 5:20-cv-1092, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The consent decree resolving the case provides the former employee with back pay and compensatory damages of $75,000. The decree also provides for injunctive relief, including anti-discrimination training and distribution of a notice informing employees of their rights.

“Under federal law, when a workplace rule conflicts with an employee’s sincerely held religious practice, an employer must attempt to find a workable solution,” said Philip Moss, trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “This settlement should underscore the importance of employers taking affirmative steps to comply with their obligations under anti-discrimination laws.”

Regional Attorney Robert Canino added, “The EEOC is pleased that in addition to a monetary settlement, Wellpath has agreed to training human resources employee at its headquarters and certain managers throughout Texas on anti-discrimination laws and providing accommodations, including matters related to dress and grooming based on religion.”  

For more information on religious discrimination, please visit

The San Antonio Field Office is part of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office, which is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and agency litiga­tion in Texas and parts of New Mexico.

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.