According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Family Foods, Inc. which is a company that owns some Taco Bell restaurants in North Carolina will pay $27,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit. An employee sued when he was fired because he refused to cut his hair for religious reasons. The employee was Christopher Abbey, who is 27 years old and worked for Taco Bell from 2004 until 2010. He was told to cut his long hair but according to the employee, he could not do so because it would violates the Nazirite religion which he has been practicing since he was 15 years old. The employer will also pay damages which include back pay, job search costs, and compensation for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, humiliation.” The company will also adopt a formal policy regarding religious accommodation as well as institute training sessions educating employees about Title VII of the law. See
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. In a case such as the one above regarding religion, harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive environment. See
The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC have won precedent-setting decisions involving discrimination for clients represented on Long Island, throughout the New York City area and from other parts of the country as well. For a free consultation, please Contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 or 516-873-9559.