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Religious Discrimination: Can I Be Fired Based On The Dress Code?

| Jan 30, 2014 | Religious Discrimination, wrongful-termination |

Religious Discrimination Lawyer Top Answer: Can my boss fire me if my religion does not allow me to follow the dress code? Can my job force me to wear clothes that are against my religious beliefs? What do I do if I’m being discriminated on based on my religion?

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Most of the time religious discrimination occurs when a job or a manager simply does not understand religious requirement or thinks that such requirements are unreasonable or interfere with company policies. Often time, problems arise because employers do not want to accommodate certain religious dress requirement. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Ohio Unlawful Discriminatory Practice Statute, R.C. § 4112.02, prohibit religious discrimination in employment and requires jobs to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, including dress requirements, unless doing so would cause an unreasonable burden on the employer.

Let’s look at a recent example of a religious discrimination case involving dress code requirements. A Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee has a dress requirement that all employees were pants and does not allow skirts or dresses. Since 1992, Sheila Silver has worked for various Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and was aware of the dress code policy when she converted to Pentecostalism in 2010. Under the religious tenants of Pentecostalism, women wear skirts and should not wear pants. In 2013, the franchise gets bought and the new owners, Scottish Food Systems and Laurinburg KFC Take Home, come in and tell Silver that she is required to wear pants pursuant to the dress code. Even though Silver points to her religious beliefs, the new bosses fire her because she sticks to her refusal to wear pants.

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A religious discrimination lawsuit follows, which results in a settlement whereby the employer agreed to pay $40,000 to Silver and adopt a formal religious accommodation policy and to conduct an annual training program on the requirements of Title VII and its prohibition against religious discrimination.

KFC team members get paid an average of $7.63 per hour and work an average of 30 hours per week. This equates to $11,902.80 per year. With that perspective, the $40,000 settlement represents not quite four times Silver’s yearly earnings.

If you feel that you are being discriminated or harassed based on your religion or religious beliefs, the best course of action you can take is to call the right attorney at (216) 291-4744 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At The Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with a religious discrimination attorney, who will be able to tell you what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this religious discrimination blog and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “How do I …”, “What should I do …,” “Can my boss discriminate against me because I’m (Jewish/Muslim/Mormon/Hindu)?” or “I was fired for my religious beliefs. What can I do?”, it would be best for to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular religious discrimination or other employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.