The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a Title VII civil rights action against a Burger King restaurant claiming that it failed to accommodate the religious beliefs of a Pentecostal Christian woman who sought to wear skirts or dresses to work instead of uniform pants. EEOC v. Fries Rest. Mgmt., LLC, No. 12-3169 (N.D. Tex., filed August 22, 2012).

The employee was hired as a cashier and had allegedly been informed when
she interviewed for the position that she could wear a skirt to work, an
accommodation she required because she “adheres to an interpretation of
the scripture that requires women to wear only skirts or dresses.” When she
arrived at work for orientation in a skirt, she was told she could not wear it and
would have to leave the store. According to the complaint, “The result of the
foregoing practice has been to deprive Ashanti McShan of equal employment
opportunities because of her religious beliefs and observances as a Christian
Pentecostal.”

EEOC seeks to enjoin the defendant from discriminating on the basis of religion
and an order requiring the defendant to accommodate McShan’s religion
and make her whole with back pay and prejudgment interest; compensation
for pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress;
and punitive damages for “malicious conduct or reckless indifference to
Ashanti McShan’s federally protected rights.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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