Desert Schools FCU Settles Pro-MormonBias Suit

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PHOENIX - (03/10/05) -- Desert Schools FCU said Wednesday itagreed to pay $65,000 to settle claims in an Equal EmploymentOpportunity suit that the credit union discriminated againstemployees who were not members of the Mormon Church or because theywere African-Americans. The suit brought by the U.S. EqualEmployment Opportunity Commission charged the credit union refusedto promote more qualified non-Mormons or black employees toposition of branch manager, and subjected non-Mormon employees to areligiously hostile work environment. It is the first case ofdiscrimination against non-Mormons the EEOC has prosecuted inArizona, although the agency has taken on several cases in Utah,where the Mormon Church has its headquarters. Under the terms ofthe settlement, Desert Schools FCU will also strengthen itspolicies prohibiting race or religious discrimination and providetraining on race and religious discrimination. In a statement, thecredit unions said it believed the case lacked merit but it settledthe case in "the best interests of members" due to the costsassociated with litigating against a "large governmentalagency."

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