Retail Labor and Employment Law

Retail Labor and Employment Law

News, Updates, and Insights for Retail Employers

Category Archives: Religious Discrimination

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Employers Under the Microscope: Is Change on the Horizon? – Attend Our Annual Briefing (NYC, Oct. 18)

Employers Under the Microscope: Is Change on the Horizon?

When: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

Epstein Becker Green’s Annual Workforce Management Briefing will focus on the latest developments in labor and employment law, including:

  • Latest Developments from the NLRB
  • Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce
  • ADA Website Compliance
  • Trade Secrets and Non-Competes
  • Managing and Administering Leave Policies
  • New Overtime Rules
  • Workplace Violence and Active-Shooter Situations
  • Recordings in the Workplace
  • Instilling Corporate Ethics

This year, we welcome Marc Freedman and Jim Plunkett from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Marc and Jim will … Continue Reading

EEOC Targets Religious and National Origin Discrimination Against Individuals Who Are, or Are Perceived to Be, Muslim or Middle Eastern

The EEOC has released several new guidance tools, for both employers and employees, focused upon religious and national origin discrimination against people who are (or are perceived to be) Muslim. This focus on religious and national origin discrimination is particularly important for retail employers because retailers often require employees to follow dress codes or work at times that may conflict with religious observance.

In December 2015, EEOC Chair Jenny Yang released a statement highlighting the need for employers to “remain vigilant” in light of the recent terrorist attacks. Yang commended employers that have “taken steps to issue or re-issue policies … Continue Reading

New York City Investigation of Hiring Practices

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights is now authorized to investigate employers in the Big Apple to search for discriminatory practices during the hiring process. This authority stems from a law signed into effect by Mayor de Blasio that established an employment discrimination testing and investigation program.  The program is designed to determine if employers are using illegal bias during the employment application process.

Under this program, which is to begin by October 1, 2015, the Commission is to use a technique known as “matched pair testing” to conduct at least five investigations into the employment practices of New … Continue Reading

Retailer’s Lack of Actual Knowledge of Applicant’s Need for Religious Accommodation Does Not Bar Religious Bias Suit

On June 1, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court revived a religious discrimination claim against Abercrombie & Fitch (“Abercrombie”) after the fashion retailer denied employment to a Muslim woman because the headscarf, or hijab, worn as part of her religious observance violated the company’s dress code.  EEOC v, Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3718 (June 1, 2015). In overturning summary judgment granted in favor of Abercrombie, the Court held that Title VII does not require proof that the employer had actual knowledge of the individual’s need for religious accommodation, but only that the religious practice was … Continue Reading

Retail Industry Labor and Employment Cases in the Supreme Court’s Current Term

While by most accounts the current term of the Supreme Court is generally uninteresting, lacking anything that the popular media deem to be a blockbuster (the media’s choice being same-sex marriage or Affordable Care Act cases), the docket is heavily weighted towards labor and employment cases and a few that potentially affect retail employers in particular. They are as follows.

The Court already has heard argument in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433, which concerns whether the Portal-to-Portal Act, which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires employers to pay warehouse employees for the time they spend, … Continue Reading

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Religious Accommodation: A Friendly Reminder to Review Policies and Practices

By Amy B. Messigian

The EEOC has just published guidance to employers on accommodating religious dress and grooming practices pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This guidance comes on the heels of several high profile religious discrimination cases that have brought the issue of religious dress and grooming accommodation to the forefront.  Employers with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII and should take note of the new guidance.

Title VII requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for “sincerely held religious practices, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship” and prohibits workplace or job … Continue Reading

Third Time’s The Charm: Abercrombie & Fitch Prevails on Tenth Circuit Appeal After Settling Two Religious Discrimination Suits with EEOC

By Amy Messigian

After settling two religious discrimination suits with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) last month, clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch scored a big win this week in another religious discrimination case before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal, which found that the EEOC did not prove its failure to accommodate claim for a Muslim job applicant denied hire by an Abercrombie store in Oklahoma because she wore a hijab (a religious headscarf), reversing a lower court.

Ordering judgment for Abercrombie, the Tenth Circuit found that the EEOC failed to show that the applicant neither informed Abercrombie of … Continue Reading

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