Rocky Mount restaurant can’t skirt religion accommodation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

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.

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