Discrimination Claims Based on Denial of Religious Clothing Is “Low Hanging Fruit” to EEOC

National Law Review 9 / 2012: Eine Information aus dem US-Arbeitsrecht / Diskriminierungsverbot für insoweit oftmals unwissende US- Tochterunternehmen deutscher Muttergesellschaften zu beachten. Es ist eben nicht alles im Arbeitsrecht erlaubt, der Gradmesser ist und bleibt die Frage, ob die Massnahme diskriminierenden Effekt hat oder nicht. “At a recent workshop for attorneys, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided guidance on what employers should consider when enforcing a dress code policy on religious clothing.

A senior EEOC attorney described cases involving religious clothing and grooming policies as “low hanging fruit” for EEOC enforcement efforts. Among the cases the EEOC is investigating are claims of religious discrimination where employees have been disciplined or otherwise disadvantaged for donning Muslim head scarves, Sikh turbans and yarmulkes. The EEOC is also pursuing cases involving religious tattoos. In one case, EEOC recently sued a Burger King restaurant for religious discrimination because it fired a female cashier, who is a Christian Pentecostal, for refusing to wear uniform pants. A tenet of the Christian Pentecostal faith is that its members should not wear the clothing of the opposite sex. The woman’s offer to wear a skirt of modest length was rejected and she was discharged ...

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