Two corporations that own a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Rocky Mount face an EEOC lawsuit after they fired a long-term employee for dress code violations.
The woman had worked at the KFC since 1992. She converted to the Pentacostal faith in 2010. When the corporations took over the restaurant in 2013, they implemented a policy requiring all employees to wear pants. The woman told her bosses that wearing pants violated her Pentacostal beliefs. Ultimately, the dispute led to her firing.
The EEOC lawsuit alleges the restaurant owners violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by refusing to accommodate the woman’s religious beliefs.
Note: Employers must accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless doing so would cause an undue burden on the employer. The employer must show how the accommodation would be unreasonable.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Make sure you can track when downsizing decision was made
- Accommodate religious requests; don't argue 'sincerity' of beliefs
- Have a progressive discipline system? Beware giving more leeway to younger employees
- If employee refuses to cooperate with investigation, feel free to fire