In recent weeks, one of our long-winded multi-year workplace discrimination cases came to a successful resolution.
AIMD was contacted back in 2011 about the difficulties encountered by a Shabbos observant individual employed by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Work shifts for mail handlers are seven days a week and the hours are round the clock. As shift assignments are chosen based on seniority, the shifts that come with weekends off are highly coveted. All other shift assignments include weekends with off days during the week. However, according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, observers of a religion must be provided a reasonable accommodation that enables them to observe their faith (subject to the terms of the law). In this instance the manager at the USPS facility was not willing to be cooperative and none of the shift assignments that he offered would have allowed the employee to both perform his duties and observe Shabbos.
With the Mail Handlers Union unwilling to put itself out for a religious issue out of fear of challenging a collective bargaining agreement, we were left on our own to navigate the numerous stages of the process of filing an EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaint. With much-needed patience and the advice of a number of local attorneys we navigated the various stages from the initial filing through the investigative reporting until all the information was handed over to the local EEOC field office. At that point, the attorneys took over the reins, beginning with the depositions and then mediation with USPS to determine if there would be a settlement or if they would have to go to a full blown hearing. Numerous settlement offers by the USPS were inadequate and unable to provide both the lost compensation and future guarantees until they finally made a worthwhile and reasonable offer that was accepted by the employee.
We wish to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of the attorneys, Reuven Klein, Esq. and Dovid Goldman, Esq. in bringing this case to its long-awaited close.