Accommodating respectful religious expression in the workplace
Management told the employee however, that it would consider what reasonable accommodations could be made to its dress code policy. Before it could do so plaintiff resigned and filed a lawsuit against the clinic. The department determined that doing so would violate the department’s uniform regulation, which prohibited officers in uniform from wearing religious dress or symbols, applied in all circumstances, permitted no medical or secular exceptions. [the department’s] uniform as a symbol of neutral government authority, free from expressions of personal religion, bent or bias.” points up the difficulties faced by Muslim employees seeking accommodations to permit them to attend Friday prayers at local mosques. 2004) (class action settled for million; plaintiffs alleged that Abercrombie’s “Look Policy,” the company’s conception of “natural, classic American style,” epitomized by a “good-looking” sales force, unlawfully excluded African-Americans and Hispanics from selling jobs). after she was hired, and told management that she eventually planned to wear a full headpiece, with only her eyes showing. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.The clinic’s management objected, explaining to her that given the nature of the pediatric practice and the reasonable desire of child patients and parents to see the face of the medical staff providers, it could not approve wearing of a full headpiece. [the company] to assume that since the plaintiff was a Muslim it was obvious that he could not touch pork.” 2007 U. If faith-based dress and grooming don’t interfere with employees’ abilities to do their jobs, it’s best to allow them. In December, when two of the most-celebrated religious holidays occur (Christmas and Hanukkah), there’s no need to skip the festivities for fear of offending non-observing employees.Instead of throwing a company Christmas Party, throw a Holiday or End of Year Party.
“The trend could reflect a rise in Islamophobia in the workplace or an increased willingness on the part of Muslims to report discrimination — or both,” according to one observer.The employee brought a Title VII suit for religious discrimination. The court held that although the employer accommodated plaintiff’s prayer breaks, its failure to provide her with an appropriate place to perform her pre-prayer ablutions was sufficient to defeat summary judgment and send the case to a jury. 2007), for example, a Muslim started working at a ham-processing plant as a sanitation worker, which required him to clean the pork-processing machines, but apparently not touch the pork directly. Plaintiff, who had worked for some time as a server at the restaurant, converted to Islam and told the owner that she now needed to wear a in observance of her religious beliefs. She explained that the headscarf was part of her religious practice, but management at the location was unrelenting and effectively terminated plaintiff’s employment. EEOC Press Release, 11/22/10 EEOCDOCS, 2010 WLNR 23281352. Employees who feel respected and valued will be much more productive than employees who feel marginalized.We live in increasingly litigious world, and small businesses are top targets for discrimination claims.