Miles on Burger King and Religious Accommodations

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 mentions a few cases. Here are the citations supporting the assertions in the article: 

  • An employer may establish an "undue hardship" under Religious Accommodation analysis by showing that the accommodation would impose more than a "de minimis" cost on the employer. Webb v. City of Philadelphia, 562 F.3d 256, 259-60 (3d Cir. 2009); citing Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 84, 97 S.Ct. 2264, 53 L.Ed.2d 113 (1977).
  • "A religious accommodation that creates a genuine safety or security risk can undoubtedly constitute an undue hardship for an employer-prison." E.E.O.C. v. GEO Group, Inc., 616 F.3d 265, 273 (3d Cir. 2010).
  • 29 C.F.R. § 1605.1 (the EEOC regulation defining sincerely held religious belief).
  • "Costco has made a determination that facial piercings, aside from earrings, detract from the 'neat, clean and professional image' that it aims to cultivate. Such a business determination is within its discretion." Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 390 F.3d 126, 136 (1st Cir. 2004).
  • E.E.O.C. v. Alamo Rent-A-Car LLC, 432 F. Supp. 2d 1006 (D. Ariz. 2006)(rejecting employer's argument that a uniform exception imposes an undue hardship by harming its "carefully cultivated image" absent evidence of actual harm).

Dress codes and religious accommodations are tricky issues!

Lexis.com subscribers can access Lexis enhanced versions of the Webb v. City of Philadelphia, 562 F.3d 256 (3d Cir. Pa. 2009), TWA v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (U.S. 1977), EEOC v. Geo Group, Inc., 616 F.3d 265 (3d Cir. Pa. 2010), Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 390 F.3d 126 (1st Cir. Mass. 2004), and EEOC v. Alamo Rent-A-Car LLC, 432 F. Supp. 2d 1006 (D. Ariz. 2006) decisions with summary, headnotes, and Shepard's.

Read additional employment law articles on Phillip Miles' blog, Lawffice Space.

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