Wolters Kluwer’s Labor Law Journal recently published Robert Ludlum’s article, Be Careful What You Might Suspect: Religion and Accommodation in the Workplace, in its summer 2016 edition. Robert’s article analyzes EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a recent Supreme Court decision involving the application of Title VII to claims of religious discrimination. In Abercrombie, a qualified job applicant wearing a head scarf was denied a position because the head scarf conflicted with the store’s dress code. While not discussed at the job interview, the store manager assumed that the applicant wore the head scarf for religious purposes. The Court concluded that if an employer assumes that an applicant might need an accommodation and denies the applicant a job to avoid a potential accommodation, then the employer violated Title VII regardless of whether the employer actually knows of the religious practice or of the need for an accommodation. Robert shares some basic steps for employers to consider to minimize their risk of liability from such claims. If you are interested in reviewing your workplace policies or have questions about how the Abercrombie decision may affect you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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