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Restaurants vulnerable to religious discrimination claims

Restaurants vulnerable to religious discrimination claims

Employees may object to hours, uniforms and alcohol.

Employee claims of religious discrimination are on the rise, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Compared to claims based on age, sex, race and disability, religious-based complaints still represent a small percentage of workplace-bias charges reviewed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But the category is becoming more significant. Last year the commission reviewed 3,811 complaints, and in 2011 a record 4,511. The EEOC works to resolve claims before filing suits on a worker’s behalf.

Observers believe the numbers will continue to grow as more immigrants join the workforce and more employees push their right to express their religious beliefs openly.

The nature of the restaurant business makes it a likely target for religious discrimination claims. Alcohol service, restrictive dress codes—including rules about facial hair, tattoos, piercings and head coverings—and business hours that clash with Sabbath days are all common grounds for complaints.

See more examples of EEOC actions based on religion >>

TAGS: Staffing
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