LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

A Festivus for the Rest of Us (at Work)

Yesterday, Evil Skippy at Work answered a reader’s question about whether an employer can prevent its employees from celebrating Festivus in the workplace. “What is Festivus ,” you ask? “I’ve never heard of it.” Watch this short, five-minute instructional video...

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...

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert In EEOC, Abercrombie Scarf Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today granted a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a lawsuit in which it has accused a clothing retailer of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it refused to hire...

An Employer Should Never Ask About Disability or Religion. Except When It Should.

Everybody knows that an employer should never, ever, ever ask an applicant about religion or disability until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. And maybe not even then. Right? Right? Well, mostly right. But, as a couple of EEOC lawsuits show, there may be times when you have...

Should It Matter If Your Employee Thinks Hand Scanners Are Tools of Satan?

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you might recall a story I shared a few years ago about a co-worker at one of my high-school jobs, who held some interesting opinions about Lee Iacocca, Satan, and the end of the world. At the time, I made a point about taking the path of least resistance...

Mark This Beastly Religious Accommodation Case for the Employer

Last Monday, I wrote about a jury verdict against an employer that refused to make accommodation for an employee who objected to the use of the company’s time-keeping hand scanner for religious reasons. In response, one reader commented : Seems to me that the law should require some sort of...

Collision Course? LGBT Protection and Religious Freedom

As employers in Michigan settle into 2015, there are some known developments on the horizon. The NLRB will implement its revised election procedures absent court intervention; the DOL will address overtime exemptions; and the EEOC will issue guidelines on wellness plans and implement its task force on...

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in EEOC, Abercrombie Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling in favor of a clothing retailer that refused to hire a Muslim applicant who wore a headscarf during her interview, Principal Duty Solicitor General Ian H. Gershengorn of Washington argued before the U.S. Supreme...

Reading the #SCOTUS Tea Leaves: Headscarves, Religious Accommodations, and Abercrombie

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. ( transcript here [pdf] ), which will hopefully determine the circumstances under which an employer must, as a religious accommodation, grant an exception to its “Look Policy” for a hijab-wearing...

Two First Amendment Rights, Only One Protected: Last Man Standing (Sort Of) Gets It Right

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Tim Allen's show Last Man Standing. Guilty because, unlike the very apolitical Home Improvement, Tim Allen uses his new vehicle to take some slaps at President Obama and liberals in general. In a recent episode, Three Sundays , they addressed two rights protected...

Federal Judge Reincarnates Atheist’s Religious Bias Claims

And the Czech judge scored my lede a 4.3. Well, the second she starts paying my legal bills, maybe, I’ll give a damn. Until then… What was I talking about? Oh yes, religious discrimination. Over the weekend, I read this PA federal court opinion [ an enhanced version of this opinion...

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: Religious Apparel Clashes With Potential Employer’s Fashion Sense

by Mark C. Dean On February 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc, a case where religious articles of clothing have come to clash with an employer’s neutral dress code policy. In this case, a Muslim teenage girl applied...

Supreme Court Rules on Proof Needed for Religious Bias Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) To prove religious discrimination by an employer, a prospective employee needs to show only that his or her need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision, not that the employer had “actual knowledge” of the applicant’s...

Some Thoughts on EEOC v. Abercrombie

Now that I've had a chance to read the full opinion in EEOC v. Abercrombie [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and an enhanced opinion for this case], here are a few thoughts. First, some background: An assistant manager at A&F interviewed an applicant who wore a headscarf...

The Unanswered Questions From EEOC v. Abercrombie

Building off of yesterday's posts regarding EEOC v. Abercrombie [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and an enhanced opinion for this case] ( here and here ), there are two extraordinarily important questions left unanswered. I touched on this yesterday: What level of suspicion...

The Abercrombie Case

Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court decision issued yesterday in the Abercrombie case [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and an enhanced opinion for this case] . For those who haven’t been following the Supreme Court docket this year (and only stumbled...

Supreme Court Decision Leaves Employers With Religious Accommodation Questions

by Rodney L. Bean and Kaitlin L. Hillenbrand Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc ., where it addressed questions surrounding the obligation of an employer to make a religious accommodation [lexis.com subscribers...

EEOC, Abercrombie Settle Hijab Lawsuit

We went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and all I got was this lousy $45K? (Better than a lousy t-shirt, I guess.) Law360 reports that, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the high-profile religious discrimination and accommodation case...

She Was Fired For Refusing to Pray With a Client. Why Did This Employee LOSE Her Religious Bias Lawsuit?

Do you want the answer from me? Oh, this is awkward. I was literally asking you. But, ok, fine. I think that I can help. Friday’s post addressed a situation in which honoring a customer’s preference for a white delivery-person over a black delivery-person cost a box-store manager his job...

When Religious Liberty Clashes With Job Requirements

By now, you’ve likely heard about the Muslim flight attendant who filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, claiming that her employer refused to accommodate her religion by requiring her serve alcohol on flights. There is much to say about this issue, but I do not think I can say it any...

Time Off For Religious Holidays

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which means that many Jewish employees are taking the day off. Is an employer obligated, however, to grant a request for time off when requested for a religious observance? Title VII requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee whose sincerely...

No, You Can't Use "Religious Discrimination" To Discriminate (But You Can Use It To Refuse To Serve Alcohol)

With all the brouhaha over the clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, plus being in the midst of the Jewish holidays, I thought now would be a good time to talk about religious discrimination and when employers must accommodate religious beliefs. Here's what...