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Dress codes and religious preferences

New York residents may have heard of a case in South Carolina where a manufacturer of auto parts would not hire a woman because she would not wear pants as required by company policy due to her religious beliefs. The woman took her case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which alleges that the refusal to hire the woman was religious discrimination.

According to the complaint filed by the EEOC in federal court, a temp agency had attempted to place the woman with the company. The woman had never worn pants because it was not allowed by her religion. However, the human resources section of the company advised against hiring her for that reason, which was stated in the court complaint filed by the agency.

The EEOC stated that the company did not discuss the woman's religious objection to wearing pants and refused her hire without any attempt at accommodating her religious preferences In addition, the EEOC stated that the company interfered with the woman's opportunities for employment through the temp agency. The agency filed the lawsuit as a Title VII violation , citing as an example the case of another woman who objected to wearing pants on religious grounds.

Previous lawsuits filed on the grounds of religious attire have resulted in the award of damages for the plaintiff. One such lawsuit in 2014 resulted in a settlement against a fast food franchise in the amount of $40,000.

People who are facing employment discrimination because of their religion or religious customs may have had their rights violated under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and thus may want to meet with an attorney. Employers are required by law in these types of cases to provide reasonable accommodations unless it would cause them undue hardship.

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