In early April, Houston-based U.S. Steel Tubular Products Inc. (USSTP), a subsidiary of U.S. Steel Corporation, settled a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC alleged in the lawsuit that USSTP revoked a job offer to Stephen Fasuyi, a member of the Nazirite sect of the Hebrew Israelite faith, after he refused to allow hair to be cut from his scalp for preemployment drug testing. Nazirites believe that the Old Testament forbids them from cutting hair from the scalp. According to the EEOC, Fasuyi offered alternatives, such as allowing hair to be pulled from his beard, but he was sent home without completing the test and denied another opportunity to take it.
Fasuyi subsequently applied for other vacancies at USSTP and was initially scheduled for interviews, but the interviews were abruptly canceled. The EEOC contended that USSTP’s failure to reasonably accommodate his sincerely held religious beliefs constituted religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
USSTP has agreed to pay Fasuyi $150,000. The company did not admit any fault as part of the settlement.
Jacob M. Monty, the managing partner of Monty & Ramirez, LLP, practices at the intersection of immigration and labor law. He can be reached at email@example.com or 281-493-5529.