A federal jury in Long Island, New York, has ordered a health insurance company to pay $5.1 million to 10 employees who said they were forced to follow the practices of an obscure religious belief system called “Onionhead,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.
The EEOC on Thursday said the jury in Central Islip, New York handed down the verdict against United Health Programs of America Inc a day earlier. Two years ago, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto rejected claims by United Health Programs (UHP), and its parent, Cost Containment Group Inc, that Onionhead was a conflict-resolution tool and not a religion. UHP is not affiliated with publicly traded healthcare company UnitedHealth Group Inc.
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