A franchisee of fast-food giant McDonald’s has agreed to pay $69,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a man who was denied a job because he refused to shave his beard. The man is a Hasidic Jew and claims his faith prevents him from shaving his beard.
McDonald’s allows its franchisees to set their grooming policies, and this location requires that all males must have clean-shaven faces. It is also important to note that the man applied for a maintenance job, not a job that required food handling. The man offered to wear a beard net while working, but the manager refused and instead rescinded the job offer.
What Is Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant less favorably than other employees or applicants based on religion. In many cases, California employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees or applicants by firing, refusing to hire, demoting, refusing to promote, or taking other negative actions because of religion. These practices go against the civil rights laws enacted by the EEOC.
In the McDonald's case, the man would have been hired except for his religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to accommodate a deeply held religious belief unless it would cause an undue hardship on the business. Here, the man offered to wear a beard net while he worked, but this was refused.
Have You Been Discriminated Against? Call Davtyan Law Today
If you have been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination or harassment in California, or if you were forced to quit your job because of severe and frequent harassment at work, contact the employment discrimination attorneys at Davtyan Law Firm today to discuss your legal rights.
Our experienced religious discrimination legal team can determine whether you have a case and establish your best options for moving forward. You may be able to file an employment law claim against your employer to recover compensation for lost wages and benefits and other monetary damages.
Based in California, Davtyan Law Firm focuses exclusively on employment law and protecting employees' rights. The legal team handles a broad range of employment disputes, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour issues.