On September 11, 1996 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington, Delaware in the U.S. District Court of Delaware to enforce Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that ...
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On September 11, 1996 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington, Delaware in the U.S. District Court of Delaware to enforce Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against an individual employee in the police department of Wilmington by failing to accommodate the employees religious observance, practice, and belief in the wearing of a beard.
The complaint alleges that the City of Wilmington violated Title VII by: (1) failing or refusing reasonably to accommodate the employee's religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (2) suspending the employee for 40 hours without pay because of religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (3) further suspending the employee for ten days without pay because employees continued religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (4) failing or refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the effects of the discrimination against employee.
On March 7, 1997 Judge Murray M. Schwartz signed the order entering the consent decree agreed on by both parties. The consent decree provides that the defendant: (1) shall not engage in any act or practice that has the purpose or effect of unlawfully discriminating against any employee or potential employee on good faith religious observances, practices and/or beliefs, including the observance, practice and/or belief of wearing a beard; (2) defendant shall not retaliate against or in any respect adversely affect the employee or any other person because that person has opposed allegedly discriminatory policies or practices, has filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or because of that person's participation in or cooperation with the initiation, investigation, litigation or administration of this case or this decree; (3) Defendant shall implement and use non-discriminatory employment policies designed reasonably to accommodate the good faith religious observances, practices and/or beliefs of employees; (4) Defendant shall provide training with respect to Title VII's prohibition against employment discrimination based on religion to its Police Department supervisory personnel; (5) Within thirty days after the date of entry of this Decree, the City shall post notices of the settlement of this lawsuit in a prominent and conspicuous location used for posting notices at the Wilmington Police Department for ninety days.
The consent decree further provides specific compensation to the employee: (1) offer back pay for the 40 hours time employee was initially suspended, and the 10 days in which the employee was later suspended, including interest accrued; (2) the city will make a payment into the employee's pension fund with interest accrued; (3) the city shall pay a monetary award to employee which will be considered compensatory relief; (4) The City shall offer to expunge from its records and files all documents, records or information relating to proposed or actual disciplinary action taken against employee; (5) that the beard worn by the employee would not be in violation of the anticipated grooming policy.
The case was closed on March 7, 1997.James Floyd - 11/11/2007