A security guard is suing his former employer, saying he was forced to resign from his job at a Wilshire District high-rise because his company would not accommodate his request to have Friday night and Saturday off to worship as a Seventh-day Adventist.
Luis Lomeli’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Thursday against Universal Protection Service LP. The allegations include religious discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, and wrongful constructive termination. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A company representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Lomeli was hired as a guard by the firm in 2009 and assigned to work at a building in the 800 block of Wilshire Boulevard, the suit states. In 2017, he converted to the Seventh-day Adventist faith and worships at a church in Yucaipa, according to the suit.
“During his study of the scriptures, Lomeli became convinced that God wants man to rest on the Sabbath and refrain from secular work,” the suit states. “This belief is a teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
Lomeli, who was working a Wednesday through Sunday shift, asked his employer in January 2018 if he could change his schedule to have Friday evenings and Saturdays off to observe the Sabbath, the suit states. He submitted letters from pastors in February and April 2018 in support of his request, according to the complaint.
The company’s human resources manager allegedly promised she would have a response the next day, but no answer came.
The firm’s human resources and operations managers met with Lomeli in June 2018 to discuss his request. The plaintiff suggested three options, including one in which a co-worker had offered to trade schedules to allow Lomeli to have Friday nights and Saturdays off, the suit states.
Months passed and no changes were made in Lomeli’s schedule, so he sought an interview for another position, but he was not cleared for that opportunity, the suit states, further alleging that his supervisor began to harass him and mock him for his faith.
On Friday nights, the supervisor allegedly demeaned Lomeli, saying he was committing blasphemy by working during that time and jokingly said it was punishable by death.
The boss also ordered Lomeli to clean the restroom most of the time even though there was supposed to be a rotation of guards doing so, the suit states.
After months of losing sleep and suffering mental anguish, the suit states that Lomeli resigned last Dec 12.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: