McDonald's recently agreed to settle a religion-based employment discrimination suit, agreeing to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to a Muslim employee who wasn't allowed to grow a beard.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged that McDonald's refused a request from a crew trainer to be permitted to grow a beard for religious reasons, leading to his constructive discharge. (This is when an employee is forced to quit because the employer has made working conditions unbearable.)
Such conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires that employers make reasonable accommodations to the sincerely held religious beliefs of employees as long as doing so causes no harm to the business. The EEOC filed suit after attempts to reach mediated settlement failed.
Aside from the monetary settlement, McDonald's agreed to reinforce their employee training in regards to anti-discrimination policies and reexamine its existing policies related to religious discrimination and accommodation.
"We commend McDonald's for its commitment to training and ensuring that its staff and managers are well-versed on laws relating to religious discrimination," said an EEOC spokesperson. "We hope other employers follow McDonald's lead in promoting training and development of extensive anti-discrimination policies."
If you believe you have been a victim of religious discrimination at the hands of your employer, contact Shulman Kessler LLP. We will answer all your questions and ensure you receive the protection of the law and are treated with the respect you deserve.