BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Legal Newsline) — A Mississippi restaurant has settled a lawsuit filed by a federal agency, alleging the company discriminated against a female worker who could not follow the dress code due to her religious beliefs.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Georgia Blue restaurant in Flowood, Mississippi, operated by GB Flowood Operations, LLC, would not allow a female server to wear a blue jean skirt instead of blue jeans due to her Apostolic Pentecostal religion beliefs.
After being hired as a server at the restaurant, the female employee learned that workers were required to wear blue jeans. However, according to her religion, women can only wear dresses or skirts, the EEOC said. The company would not accommodate the female server's religious beliefs in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"This case is a reminder that employers risk violating the law if they require an employee to choose between her job and her religion," EEOC Birmingham regional attorney Marsha Rucker said in a statement. "We are pleased that GB Flowood Operations is willing to make changes to its policies to accommodate the religious practices of its employees and prospective employees."
"This case emphasizes the EEOC's commitment to enforcing the rights of employees to religious freedom in the workplace," added EEOC Birmingham District Office director Bradley Anderson.
GB Flowood will pay $25,000 to the female employee as well as revise its policies on reasonable accommodations and provide training to its managers, the EEOC said.