- Adventist phlebotomist received religious accommodation for religious beliefs during first 9 years of employment. In 10th year of employment, Quest denied her religious accommodation and fired her after she didn’t show up for Saturday shift.
- Quest has agreed to adopt a religious accommodation policy, create a protocol for its employee relations department and provide annual training to employees of the Rockwall, Texas, U.S., location where the phlebotomist worked.
- Quest has also managed laboratories for 3 Adventist hospitals in Colorado, US, since 2001.
08 February 2022 | Quest Diagnostics, a U.S.-provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, will pay $90,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a phlebotomist working in Rockwall, Texas, U.S., reported the Dallas Morning News.
The employee, a practicing Seventh-day Adventist, had received time off to accommodate her religious beliefs for the first nine years she worked for Quest, according to the EEOC. Seventh-day Adventists attend church on Saturdays, while avoiding secular work and business from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
But during the employee’s 10th year with the company in 2019, Quest denied her religious accommodation and fired her after she failed to work scheduled Saturday shifts, the EEOC said.
A Quest Diagnostics spokesperson said the Secaucus, New Jersey-based company is committed to fostering a workplace culture that recognizes the diversity of its employees.
“While we dispute the allegations and fully complied with all applicable laws in this case, we have agreed to settle this matter and enter into a consent decree with no admission of liability to avoid the distraction and expense of protracted litigation,” the spokesperson said.
In addition to paying $90,000, Quest agreed to adopt a religious accommodation policy, create a protocol for its employee relations department and provide annual training to employees of the Rockwall location where the phlebotomist worked.
“This case demonstrates the importance of assessing the particular facts of an applicant’s or employee’s request for religious accommodation to determine whether the accommodation would create an undue hardship for a business’ operations,” said Meaghan Kuelbs, senior trial attorney in the EEOC’s Dallas District Office in a statement.
Quest Diagnostics operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil. Notably, Quest also manages laboratories at five Centura hospitals in Denver, Colorado, U.S., which includes Avista Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital and Porter Adventist Hospital.
According to a regulatory filing from 2021, it has about 49,000 employees and generated $9.54 billion in revenue in 2020.
This article was edited by AT staff.
(Photo: Quest Diagnostics, a U.S.-provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, will pay $90,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by an Adventist phlebotomist working in Rockwall, Texas, US. Photo via Quest Diagnostics website.)