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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19067
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Not a duplicate. Do not close. . I am writing today regarding an

Customer Question

Hello. I am writing today regarding an employment law question. I filed a discrimination and retaliation complaint against my employer with the Division of Human Rights on March 30, 2015, after my employer denied me five Sundays in a row off to attend
my church services, even though I had a religious accommodation already in place as the result of a previous complaint filed in November 2012. Please note, that on these five Sunday's, two or more other housekeepers were scheduled off for no legitimate reason.
I have several questions regarding my employer's response, which came directly from my general manager, and reads as follows: "In response to allegation 1, we (Company's Name) claim ignorance to this. In September 2014, an entirely new management team was
brought into the hotel as a result of a new management company that had recently taken over. Therefore, I would assume if someone had special requests, they would make it a point to make the new management aware. However, I cannot say that I would have been
able to accommodate those requests, as we are a hotel and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Sundays are critical. I can certainly say that if someone was being interviewed for any position at the hotel and they indicated that (they) were not available
to work on a specific day of the week, more likely than not they would not be offered a position here. In response to allegation 2, we were not aware that this was an "issue" or concern of (Mine). She did inform us that she wanted Sundays off to attend church;
that we cannot dispute. However, if business needs deemed it necessary that (I) be scheduled, we scheduled her and anyone else that was necessary to properly do our job as a hotel. We never intended to offend or upset anyone and, as I mentioned above, were
completely unaware of the importance of this issue according to (me). I do not understand why (I) did not come to me and inform me of her situation and/or the importance of it. I feel this is simply a matter of a total lack of communication and maybe miscommunication."
This response, in my opinion, is disturbing, and damaging to them as the respondents. They contradict themselves by stating that I didn't say anything to them about needing a religious accommodation, then later go on to admit that I did tell them I was requesting
Sunday's off to attend church. They also state that they would not hire someone who required a certain day off (for a religious accommodation) which is a discriminatory statement in itself. The above response was submitted by my manager on April 1, 2015, to
the Division in response to my complaint. I do not believe he made Corporate Headquarters aware of my complain previous to filing his response. Now, when I spoke to the Division yesterday, they are stating that my employer has hired a lawyer and is sending
another response to my original complaint. First, is my employer even allowed to submit a second response to my initial complaint? Will their first response, which contained no evidence of any kind to support their claims, still be considered by the Division
when deciding my case? Is the Division allowed to just ignore their first response? Can I still use their first response as evidence against them in my rebuttal? Has damage already been done, in your opinion, with their first response?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, your employer can submit numerous responses to your complaint. This isn't a trial. It's an investigation by the Division, who is not a court but an investigative agency. They'll accept as much information as they can obtain in order to make their report complete. Nothing about their determination is a ruling. It's just an investigation. No matter what they believe, you'll obtain the right to sue. You can absolutely still use their response. The division won't ignore their response, but rather, will use it together with any additional information the company provides. If they are inconsistent, the division will actually hold that inconsistency against the employer. Yes, to the extent that the first response damages the company, it can be used for the purpose.