The Supreme Court sided with the EEOC in the religious discrimination suit brought against Abercrombie & Fitch by the EEOC. An applicant, a Muslim woman wore a head scarf (“hijab”) during an interview for religious reasons, but did not ask for a religious accommodation (Abercrombie’s policy is, “No head coverings at all” – their “Look” policy). Based on the Supreme Court’s decision, we urge our clients to treat religious accommodations and their discussions, the same as you would an ADA accommodation in all employee/applicant decisions. Just because your policies are discrimination neutral on their face, does not mean they will not be discriminatory in practice. Ask applicants if there are any job functions they cannot perform, or policy they cannot adhere to “with or without reasonable accommodation”. Subsequent discussions should follow if necessary.
March 16, 2016
With 25+ years of experience, Lois Krause's HR strengths include labor law, employee relations, OD, and performance management. Lois has advanced HR certifications.