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HELP WANTED: Born-again Christians need only apply

I'm a firm believer that discussing religion (or politics) at work is a recipe for disaster. On this blog; however, if it's employment-related, then that's how we roll... And, after the jump, we roll into Oklahoma and discuss whether it's ok for a lighting company to require that...

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...

Title VII Does Not Give Employees the Right to Proselytize

I believe that everyone's relationship with God (whether you call that deity Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, or something else) is personal. I have no opinion on your spiritual relationship, as should you have none on mine. Thus, I get mad whenever someone tries to shove their religious...

Can You Say Discrimination? 28% of Recruiters React Negatively to Religious Posts/Tweets

Jobvite’s sixth annual Social Recruiting Survey came out this week and starts with the headline “[a]nyone not leveraging social referrals is behind the curve. “ The survey found that 94% of recruiters are now using or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts. Ok. That’s...

Don't Forget About Religious Discrimination When Throwing Your Office Halloween Party

Personally, I love Halloween. Adore it. I have zombies in my courtyard to scare the kiddies, and a graveyard in front of the house with various and sundry body parts poking out. Yes, Halloween is great fun for those who celebrate it. However, there are some religions that ban celebrating Halloween altogether...

Cursing as Religious Harassment—Context Matters

The year was 1985. I was 12 years and spent the summer at overnight camp. When you spend 8 weeks alone in the woods with a dozen other 12-year-old boys, you curse, a lot. After 8 weeks of “f-this” and “f-that,” it shouldn’t have surprised my parents when, at the dinner table...

Hold the Onion(head): What is a “Religion” Under Title VII?

Have you heard the one about the company that fired employees who refused to worship an onion? This is not the start of a joke, but a real, live lawsuit filed by the EEOC. According to the EEOC , United Health Programs of America, and its parent company, Cost Containment Group, required its employees...

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...

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...

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...

Madison Enacts Law Protecting Atheists Against Discrimination (But Atheists Are Already Protected Against Religious Discrimination Under Title VII)

While the anti-discrimination ordinance enacted in Madison , Wisconsin adding “nonreligion” to the list of protected categories was touted as the first of its kind in the nation, that’s not quite true. While it may well be the first ordinance specifically protecting those who have no...

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...

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...

Just Because Harassment Is Offensive Doesn’t Make It Illegal

Clifford Harris is a practicing member of the Voodoo religion. His co-workers at Electro-Motive Diesel often expressed their opinion about his religion, calling him “crazy” and describing it as “evil”. (For what it’s worth, they might not have been that off base—Harris...

Did You Hear the One About the HR Manager Who’d Never Heard of Title VII?

The bottom of the first page of this recent federal court opinion in EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc. really grabbed my attention: In December 2008 or January 2009, Edward Briggs became Star Transport’s Human Resources Manager. He received no training on anti-discrimination laws, was not aware of...