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Raley’s Settles for Religious Discrimination

Raley’s, the West Sacramento-based supermarket chain, has agreed to pay a clerk it fired four years ago $140,000.00, revise its policies, and provide new training to its supervisors.  Raley’s agreed to these terms in a consent decree filed in federal court in Sacramento between the supermarket and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC sued Raley’s in September 2017.

Raley’s denies the allegations but agreed to the settlement to avoid “the expense, delay, and burden of further litigation,” according to court documents.

Jennifer Webb alleges that she was scheduled to work a Wednesday night shift the evening before Thanksgiving in 2014.  Ms. Webb is a Jehovah’s Witness and told her supervisors before she was hired in May 2014 that she could not work shifts after 5PM on Wednesdays and before 4PM on Sundays because she had to attend religious meetings at those times.

Although Raley’s accommodated her scheduling needs, she was scheduled to work the day before Thanksgiving from 2PM until 11PM.  When Ms. Webb protested, she was told that “it didn’t matter” and that she needed to report as scheduled. Ms. Webb alleges that she left at 5PM and was fired.

Raley’s stated that after Ms. Webb filed her lawsuit, she left work and failed to respond to any subsequent efforts by Raley’s to contact her or schedule new work shifts.  A spokeswoman for the company explained: “Raley’s has always been committed to providing its employees with a first-class work environment and respecting each of their religious practices; Ms. Webb was no exception.”

The consent agreement requires the company to pay Ms. Webb $25,000 in back pay and $115,000 in compensatory damages.  It also agreed to purge its records of any disciplinary action taken against her and change them to reflect that she voluntarily resigned as well as provide her a neutral letter of reference.