NC Dunkin’ Donuts to pay $22,000 to settle religious discrimination lawsuit

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ARDEN, N.C. – The owner of a North Carolina Dunkin’ Donuts business must pay $22,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit.

The Asheville Citizen-Times News reported that Citi Brands LLC failed to hire a man who cannot work from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday for religious reasons.

Citi Brands LLC is a franchisee of Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery. The business is question is in Arden on the western side of the state.

The plaintiff, Darrell Littrell, is a Seventh-Day Adventist who filed the lawsuit last year.

He claims the bakery refused to hire him because he would not work on Saturday because of his religious views.

Littrell reportedly applied for a job as a donut maker at a manufacturing plant in December 2012.

He claims he was later interviewed by the company’s plant manager. The next month, he was offered a job and was told to report to work at 3 p.m. Friday.

Littrell refused to work on Friday afternoon, since Adventists observe a Sabbath from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday. The manager then reportedly withdrew his job offer.

The owner of the business now owes Littrell $22,000 and the company has been prohibited from discriminating on the basis of religion in the future.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from refusing to hire people because of their religion, and requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs as long as doing so does not create an undue hardship for the employer, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.