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Lansing faces religious discrimination lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Justice is seen Friday.
Kevin Dietsch
Getty Images

The US Justice Department has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the City of Lansing.

The lawsuit claims the Lansing city jail fired a Seventh Day Adventist after she said she could not to work a shift that fell during her religion’s sabbath.

The Justice Department complaint says Sylvia Coleman informed the city of her religious restrictions when she was hired to work as a detention officer. The lawsuit says the city ignored that when Coleman was scheduled to work a Saturday shift and was fired when she didn’t show up to work.

The lawsuit claims Lansing’s human resources director, jail supervisor, and police chief were all aware of Coleman’s requested religious accommodation before the decision was made to fire her – and that violated the US Civil Rights Act. The lawsuit was filed this week in the western Michigan US District Court.

A spokesman for the city says the allegations in the legal action are “inconsistent with the facts and the law.”

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