EEOC Lawsuit Says Assisted Living In Ooltewah Required 2 Seventh-Day Adventists To Work On Their Sabbath

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Century Park Associates, LLC, dba Garden Plaza at Greenbriar Cove, which operates a senior and assisted living community in Ooltewah, violated federal law by demanding that two employees work on the Sabbath, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged in a lawsuit.

Garden Plaza at Greenbriar Cove is an independent living facility owned by Century Park, an affiliate of Life Care Centers of America in Cleveland, Tn. It is not associated in any form of ownership with Morning Pointe or Independent Healthcare Properties.


According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Century Park required two employees to work on their Sabbath in violation of their religious beliefs. The two employees, members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The company told the employees they had to agree to work on Saturdays as part of a new work schedule. Although the employees offered to work on Sundays, Century required they agree to work on Saturdays. When the two employees refused due to their religious beliefs, the company asked them to resign, and the two employees resigned at Century Park’s request. The two employees sought reinstatement to work and religious accommodations, but the owner denied their request.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from denying reasonable accommodation of an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Century Park Associates, LLC, d/b/a Garden Plaza at Greenbriar Cove, Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-00231) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Southern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief prohibiting Century Park from denying religious accommodations in the future, as well as back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, which will go to the two discharged employees.

“Employers should not force employees to choose between their job and their religious beliefs,” said Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “Making reasonable accommodations to employees’ religious beliefs -- except where it poses an undue hardship -- is not just reasonable – it’s required by federal law.”

According to its website, Century Park operates over 40 retirement communities in 20 states.  It provides seniors with a comfortable and active place to call home.




Children’s Hospital At Erlanger Outpatient Center Wins National Design Award

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center has been recognized with an American Institute of Architects Richmond Honor Award of Excellence in Architecture.  The AIA Richmond Honor Award recognizes works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.   “In addition to creating an inspiring, playful and wonderful healing ... (click for more)

State Human Services Applauds Passage Of Welfare System Update

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is applauding the passage of key changes to the State’s Families First program.   These changes help ensure families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits administered through Families First have the necessary assistance they need to meet today’s economic realities, it was stated.   ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Robbery Suspects Within Hours Of Holdup; Citizen Takes Quick Photo Of Suspect Vehicle

Chattanooga Police officers arrested two suspects involved in an armed robbery within hours of the incident. Officers responded to an armed robbery call at 5966 Brainerd Road  at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The victim told police she was exiting her vehicle when she was approached by a white male pointing a handgun at her demanding her purse and cell phone. The victim ... (click for more)

WACKER-Charleston Taking Initial Steps To Restart Polysilicon Production After Explosion Shut Facility Last September

WACKER-Charleston announced Thursday it has resumed operations for the production of polysilicon. Using a phase-in approach, WACKER has begun the initial start-up of the site, beginning with distillation. The initial production of polysilicon is targeted to begin in the next few weeks. WACKER anticipates the Charleston site will reach full capacity in the fourth quarter ... (click for more)

Keep The Gifted Program In The Hamilton County Schools - And Response (2)

I currently have a daughter in fourth grade at Lookout Valley Elementary and a daughter in the eighth grade at Lookout Valley Middle High School. Both of my daughters are very good students, as well as being very good people. I am writing today with a concern. I was made aware that the Hamilton County Department of Education is considering cutting the gifted program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Remarkable Diane Black

As I was introduced to Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Diane Black on Thursday afternoon, I told her that one of my favorite stories is about her when she was a young, single mother in Baltimore. Her nursing job required her to sign on no later than 6:30 a.m. for work in the emergency room each day but … she had to bathe, dress, and feed her three infants and get each to a different ... (click for more)