A Twin Cities employer has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man fired for refusing to follow company orders and be fingerprinted owing to his Christian beliefs.

AscensionPoint Recovery Services (APRS), a company with operations in Coon Rapids and St. Louis Park that manages debt recovery for creditors, agreed this week to pay Henry Harrington $28,000 in back pay and $37,000 in compensatory damages, according to the settlement agreement filed this week in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

"The law requires employers to consider accommodations to the religious beliefs and practices of their employees, and to provide an accommodation unless it presents an undue hardship," said Gregory Gochanour, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's regional attorney in the Chicago district office, whose agency sued the company in June on Harrington's behalf. "We commend APRS for working with the agency to reach an early resolution to this lawsuit."

Besides the monetary relief, Judge Eric Tostrud ordered that APRS "shall not discharge any employee on the basis of religion or because of the need to make reasonable accommodations to his or her religious observance or practice absent under hardship."

APRS also is being ordered to provide training to its personnel regarding religious discrimination and accommodations.

Neither Harrington, 37, of Mound, nor company officers were immediately available Thursday to comment on the settlement. An attorney for APRS, Gina Janeiro, said, "I'm unfortunately unable to discuss this matter."

In an interview with the Star Tribune at the time the suit was filed, Harrington declined to be more specific about his Christian faith.

APRS had requested that its employees be fingerprinted as a result of a background check requirement of one of its clients, according to the EEOC.

Harrington informed APRS in July 2017 that having his fingerprints captured was contrary to his "sincerely held religious belief." He was fired that day from his job in St. Louis Park that paid him $16 an hour as a client services representative, the suit contended.

APRS terminated Harrington, who was hired 16 months earlier, without asking the client whether an exemption was available as a religious accommodation, the suit alleged, and even though alternatives to fingerprinting were available.

Along with back pay, the suit had sought financial compensation for "emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482