religious discrimination lawsuit

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Laurinburg KFC Take Home, Inc. and Scottish Food Systems, Inc. will pay $40,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The companies, located in Laurinburg, North Carolina, jointly operate numerous Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants throughout the state.

According to the complaint, a female employee converted to Pentecostalism several years ago. As a member of this church, she believes that women are not allowed to wear pants. For this reason, she had not worn pants since joining the church. Furthermore, the woman had worked for various Kentucky Fried Check locations since 1992. However, when Laurinburg KFC Take Home, Inc. and Scottish Food Systems, Inc. purchased the restaurant at which she worked, trouble ensued.

The EEOC alleged that the companies informed the woman that she was required to wear pants, due to the company’s dress code. Despite the fact that she told her employer she was unable to do so because of her religious beliefs, she was subsequently fired.

After attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement and having no luck, the EEOC filed a lawsuit on September 19, 2013.

To go along with monetary damages, the companies must implement a religious accommodation policy while also conducting an annual training program regarding religious discrimination.