INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director Akia Haynes announced today that there is probable cause to believe that Beckman Coulter, Inc. denied an employee a religious accommodation and treated him less favorably because of his gender in violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law (Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq.)
By way of background, and at all times relevant to the Complaint, Complainant served as a worship leader for Calvary Apostolic Church. This position required him to arrive no later than 6:00 pm to perform his duties on Tuesdays and Fridays. Respondent, Beckman Coulter, Inc., hired Complainant as a coordinator in December 2012 and assigned him an 8:00 am – 5:00 pm shift Monday – Friday which permitted him to attend services without issue.
However, in January 2013, Respondent assigned Complainant a new sales district with a work schedule of 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. Shortly after this change in shift, Complainant met with his supervisor and requested that he be permitted to leave an hour early on Tuesdays and Fridays to attend church services. However, his request was denied with the supervisor stating that any changes in work schedule required approximately 30 days notice from the date of the request.
Ultimately, Complainant resigned from his employment in February 2013 because of the inability to attend church services. It is important to note that during this time, Respondent permitted a female coordinator to work a flexible schedule based around her educational pursuits. Because of this evidence that Respondent treated a female employee more favorably than Complainant under similar circumstances, and the denial of the religious accommodation, there is probable cause to believe than an unlawful discriminatory practice occurred.
A finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. The Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Deputy Director – External Affairs, at (317) 232-2651.