A security guard and his former employer reached a settlement of a lawsuit in which he alleged he had to quit his job because his company would not allow him to have Friday night and Saturday off to worship as a Seventh-day Adventist.
Lawyers for Luis Lomeli filed a notice of settlement on June 30 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stuart M. Rice. No terms were divulged and in their court papers, lawyers for the company, Universal Protection Service LP, denied any wrongdoing by their client.
Lomeli sued Universal Protection Service Oct. 4. The allegations included religious discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, and wrongful constructive termination.
Lomeli was hired as a guard by the firm in 2009 and assigned to work at a high-rise building in the 800 block of Wilshire Boulevard, the suit stated. 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 stated. “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 stated. 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 suit stated.
The firm’s human resources and operations managers met with Lomeli in June 2018 to discuss his request, during which time 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 stated.
Months passed and no changes were made in Lomeli’s schedule, so he sought an interview for another position, but was not cleared for that opportunity, according to the suit, which further alleges 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 stated.
After months of losing sleep and suffering mental anguish, the suit states that Lomeli resigned in December 2018.
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