Wellpath settles religious discrimination case over denying employment to nurse who asked to wear skirt to work at San Antonio detention facility

Wellpath will pay $75,000 to settle the EEOC case

File Photo

SAN ANTONIO – The health services provider, Wellpath, has settled a religious discriminations case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a woman who says she lost out on a job in San Antonio due to her religious beliefs.

Under the settlement, Wellpath must pay back-pay and compensatory damages of $75,000 to the job candidate in addition to conducting anti-discrimination training for certain human resources employees and managers and distributing a notice informing employees of their rights.

Wellpath hired the woman to work in the GEO Central Texas Correctional Facility. However, the job offer was rescinded when the woman told a Wellpath human resources employee that she would need to wear a scrub skirt instead of scrub pants due to her religious beliefs as a practicing Apostolic Pentecostal Christian.

According to the lawsuit, the nurse had worn a scrub skirt in other nursing jobs, including at a juvenile correctional facility.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion and requires employers to reasonably accommodate an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs unless it would pose an undue hardship,” a press release from the EEOC said.

“Under federal law, when a workplace rule conflicts with an employee’s sincerely held religious practice, an employer must attempt to find a workable solution,” said Philip Moss, trial attorney for the EEOC’s San Antonio Field Office. “This settlement should underscore the importance of employers taking affirmative steps to comply with their obligations under anti-discrimination laws.”


About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.