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EEOC Alleges that Orkin Discriminated Against Non-Mormons

In an unusual twist on enforcement of religious discrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Phoenix accusing pest control company Orkin of discriminating in favor of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) applicants, particularly returned missionaries.

The EEOC also charged that Orkin discriminated against people based on age and retaliated against an applicant who complained to the company's corporate headquarters about the alleged discrimination.

According to an EEOC news release issued Wednesday, the complaint alleges that Orkin advertised on craigslist for a recruiter to hire Mormon missionaries, stating that the summer position was great for "RMs," which stands for "returned missionaries," who tend to be in their 20s. According to the EEOC, "Such advertising was illegal because it shows a preference for a particular religion, and also a preference for younger workers."

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Mary Swanton

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