Employment Law Is Not Just For the Big City
by Michael Fox
Cookeville, Tennessee, the self described Hub of the Upper Cumberlands, a town of about 24,000 located halfway between Knoxville and Nashville is probably not the first place you would think of when you thought about a case of religious accommodation involving a member of the Messianic Assembly who refused to shave his beard and lost his job as a service station attendant. But that's what happened and a suit brought by the EEOC was resolved yesterday with a payment of $62,400 and Rafael Segura's former employer Pilot Oil, also agreeing to adopt a written policy about religious accommodation and conduct training on the subject for its managers according to the story on the Cookeville Herald-Citizen website.
Coming from a town somewhat smaller, I can also guess that the $62,000 payment probably was a bigger deal than many larger dollar amounts in other locales. And Mr. Segura? According to the paper, he has a new job, and is still wearing his beard.