The lawsuit is seeking an injunction barring the university from discriminating based on religion and from retaliating based on complaints about unlawful practices; the institution of policies to provide equal employment opportunities for non-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; a written apology; financial compensation and reinstatement for the affected employees; and unspecified punitive damages.
The EEOC also is asking Judge Earl Carroll to declare its suit a class action.
University spokesman Joe Cockrell said the school has not yet been served with the suit so he cannot comment on the specifics.
"We employ over 15,000 people and we have always been guided by the principle of equal opportunity and respect for others," he said.
"We are committed to the principles of tolerance and respect, fair treatment, equal access and consideration, and recognition for contributions. We maintain a strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy and take a zero-tolerance stance on these issues." The university, part of the Phoenix-based Apollo Group, caters to working adults. According to its Web site, the school has more than 200,000 students enrolled on campuses and online. The Utah campuses are in Salt Lake City, Taylorsville, Murray, Ogden, Provo and St. George.