Foley & Lardner Labor and Employment Law Weekly Update (Week of May 2, 2011)

Operating in New York? What You Need to Know About the NEW Wage Theft Prevention Act! By John H. Douglas With all the wage and hour class action litigation going on around the country, most employers with operations in a variety of states cannot help but be aware that careful compliance in...

You’d Think a Businesses Named “Menorah House” Would Know Something About Accommodating the Sabbath

The EEOC is alleging that Menorah House, a Boca Raton, Florida, nursing home, violated Title VII when it fired an employee who wanted time off to observe the Sabbath. From the EEOC's press release : According to the EEOC's suit ... Menorah House denied a religious accommodation to Philomene...

Leaves of Absence as Religious Accommodation

We previously wrote about the EEOC's increasingly aggressive position against inflexible leave of absence policies that provide for automatic termination of employment when an employee does not or cannot return to work at the end of a specified maximum leave period, such as when the employee...

Sympathy for the Devil (As Religious Discrimination)

I haven't always been a lawyer. During a previous life (high school and college), I spent weekends and summers as a bar mitzvah DJ, a nursing home busboy, and a warehouse loading dock guy. At one of those warehouses, I worked with a man by name of Harland Jester. (I provide his name because he named...

Co-worker complaints about revised schedules may not be enough to create undue hardship for religious accommodation

Four days after the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, hired Kimberly Crider, she informed her supervisor that she was a Seventh Day Adventist, which precluded her from working from sundown Friday through sundown Saturday. Crider's job responsibilities included monitoring an emergency cell phone...

Got an appearance code? Make sure you allow exceptions for religion.

Employers, is your appearance code so important that you would pay more than $150,000 to ban a $10 accessory in the workplace? This is the story of the $150,000 lanyard. If you are ignorant like me, you are thinking, "What the heck is a lanyard? Isn't that a part of a ship?" (Actually...

Accommodating religions starts at home (a love story)

Nine years ago today I got married. Our wedding was not what you'd call traditional. I'm Jewish and my wife is Catholic, and we wanted our ceremony to blend the best of both traditions. While my wife's dream wedding included her dad walking her down a church aisle, we were willing to sacrifice...

Burger King Faces Whopper of a Religious Accommodation Lawsuit - COTW #107

The EEOC served up a "whopper" of a religious accommodation lawsuit on a Burger King (see what I did there?). You can read the Complaint here . The employee's religion is a Pentecostal of Christian faith that requires women to wear only skirts or dresses. She brought this up at her interview...

Religious Accommodation vs. Collective Bargaining Agreement - COTW #109

The latest employment law Case of the Week features the ultimate smackdown steel cage match of the millennium: religious accommodation vs. collective bargaining agreement (okay, maybe a bit of hyperbole). The Third Circuit recently addressed this issue in Fouche v. NJ Transit , and held that the winner...

Miles on Burger King and Religious Accommodations

Lawyers.com published an article, Burger King Forbids Cashier's Skirt, Faces EEOC Lawsuit . I provided some commentary for the article, including references to cases on point. If the case sounds familiar, that's because it was the Lawffice Space Case of the Week a few weeks ago . The article...

Religious Accommodation Required for an Employee's Veganism? Maybe.

"Well, blow me down. Wimpy inspires a UK fast food chain, and all I get is this crappy can. Why I oughta... " In anticipation of the current flu season, you decided to mandate that all employees get immunized. The problem is that one of your employees, a vegan, who won't ingest...

When Bereavement Leave Is More Than Just Bereavement

Oregon's bereavement leave requirements are not yet in effect, but a July 31, 2013 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit approached bereavement from a different perspective in an opinion that permitted an employee's lawsuit to go forward after his employer denied...

Employment Law Triple Play: Islam and "the Look," Loose Tweets, Gaga

It has been a busy week. Muslim headscarves, tech exec's tweets get him fired, and Lady Gaga is going to trial! Abercrombie gets fitched, and HR doesn't always get it right. I have previously reported on the litigation against Abercrombie & Fitch and its "looks policy" which...

Employee Asks Court to Stop Company from Making Her Work Saturdays

Sounds like someone's taken a page out of the Lionel Hutz playbook . Patrice Williams is a Seventh-Day Adventist. Seventh-Day Adventists believe that the Sabbath runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Because of her sincerely-held religious beliefs, Ms. Williams requested that her employer...

Hijab Accommodation: Will Abercrombie's Victory Stand?

Abercrombie & Fitch has won a huge victory in one of its Muslim hijab -accommodation cases -- but will the decision stand? As you know, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits against Abercrombie in California -- both of which have now settled -- but there was another...

Check Out the New EEOC Guidance on Workplace Religious Accommodations

Late last year, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission scored a big victory when a federal judge found apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch liable for religious discrimination when it fired a Muslim employee for wearing her hijab (a religious headscarf) in the workplace, rather...