Taco Bell Operator to Pay $27,000 to Settle Religious-Discrimination Suit
The operator of a chain of Taco Bells agreed to pay $27,000 to resolve a lawsuit brought by the EEOC, which alleged the company engaged in religious discrimination by firing an employee for refusing to cut his hair. According to the lawsuit, the employee is a Nazirite – a member of a religion that prohibits hair cutting -- who had not cut his hair since he was 15 years old. The company ordered the employee to cut his hair to comply with its grooming policy. The employee explained that he could not cut his hair for religious reasons, but the company gave him an ultimatum – cut his hair or lose his job.
Title VII requires that employers reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would be an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Among the practices the EEOC says employers must accommodate are “dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons”, such as Jewish yarmulkes, Muslim headscarves, Rastafarian dreadlocks and Sikh uncut hair and beards.
An employee's affiliation with an non-traditional religion does not lessen the employer’s obligation to make reasonable accommodations. According to the EEOC, “The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.”
WeComply’s preventing discrimination and harassment training courses teach managerial and nonmanagerial employees crucial aspects of anti-discrimination law so they can identify and appropriately respond to issues that arise on the job.Categories: Discrimination & Harassment Compliance
Tags: Preventing Discrimination and Harassment, Workplace Diversity