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EEOC Files Lawsuit Alleging Religious Discrimination

Recently the EEOC filed a lawsuit against a business in Jasper, Alabama, alleging religious discrimination and retaliation.

A young Muslim woman who was employed by a nursing home alleges she was not permitted to wear a hijab (head covering worn in public by some Muslim women) while on the job. She filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that her employer would not accommodate her religious beliefs. She was terminated. The EEOC filed a lawsuit charging the nursing home with discrimination and retaliation.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based on religion and, in addition, the law requires employers to accommodate the religious beliefs or practices of employees, unless this would impose an undue hardship on the business. Further, Title VII forbids employers from retaliating against employees who file a charge with the EEOC by discharging these employees.

An EEOC attorney stated, "Failure to accommodate religious dress and grooming remains a wide-spread problem. The EEOC recently issued a Question and Answer document and a fact sheet to guide employers and employees on this issue. This agency will remain vigilant to ensure that Americans of all faiths are free from discrimination in the workplace."

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