Christian Denied Job with Dunkin’ Donuts over Desire to Keep the Sabbath


The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the EEOC website:

“This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants’ and employees’ sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.”

Evidently one Dunkin’ Donuts was not familiar with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the enforcement policies of the EEOC, but they are now since they are being sued for violating the rights of Darrel Littrell, an Asheville North Carolina man.

According to the EEOC lawsuit against Citi Brands, LLC, the company that owns this particular franchise:

“Around Dec. 15, 2012, Littrell applied for the position of a donut maker at the Citi Brands’ manufacturing facility in Arden, North Carolina, and was later interviewed by the company’s plant manager.”

“On Jan. 3, 2013, the plant manager offered Littrell the donut maker position, and told Littrell he would start work the next afternoon, a Friday, at 3 p.m.”

“Littrell responded that he could not start work on Friday afternoon because as part of his faith, he does not work from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. The plant manager responded by revoking Littrell’s job offer.”

Littrell is a Seventh Day Adventist who holds to the strict belief that the biblical Sabbath runs from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. In keeping with the Sabbath, they will not work during that 24 hour period.

Lynette Barnes, a regional attorney for the Charlotte Division of the EEOC explained the reason for the lawsuit:

“Employers should be mindful that it is against the law to discriminate against an applicant or an employee based on his religion, including the observance of the Sabbath.”

Since Dunkin’ Donuts had officially offered Littrell the job, the lawsuit is asking for back pay, compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive and additional non-monetary relief.

Generally I’m writing about a Christian employer being sued for refusing to provide services or products for same-sex couples. It’s refreshing to see a case where the rights of a Christian are being defended by a division of the federal government.

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