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News & Analysis as of

Gavel to Gavel: Faith and consequences

Last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on religious discrimination, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc., may have the unintended effect of an increase in religious stereotyping in the workplace. The lawsuit...more

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? When It Comes to Religious Accommodation, the Supreme Court Offers Guidance (Well, Sort Of…)

What if it looks like someone may need a religious accommodation, but the individual never asks? Does the company still have a duty to accommodate? In a much awaited opinion, the Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, determined...more

Employment Law Reporter – June 2015

Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy” Needs A Makeover After The Supreme Court Looked At It - The Abercrombie & Fitch clothing company is famous for their scantily clad models with six-packs and very little actual clothing...more

Now will Job Applicants Wear Religious Necklaces to Interviews and Claim Religious Discrimination if Rejected?

The United States Supreme Court’s June 1, 2015 decision (by a vote of 8:1) in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (“Abercombie”) (No. 14-86) sent shockwaves to Companies nationwide who...more

Can You Still Have Dress Codes After Abercrombie Decision?

I’m not a fan of click-bait, so if you clicked the headlines and just want to know whether your company can still have a dress code policy after the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the answer is...more

Lack of Actual Knowledge of a Need for a Religious Accommodation is Not a Defense to a Religious Bias Suit

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a religious bias suit involving an unsuccessful Muslim job applicant who was rejected because her headscarf did...more

Supreme Court Abercrombie & Fitch Ruling: It’s the Motive that Matters

As most lawyers and HR professionals know, on June 1, 2015, Justice Antonin Scalia authored a concise opinion, overturning the Tenth Circuit and holding that Abercrombie & Fitch had intentionally discriminated against...more

Supreme Court Opens The Door To More Religious Accommodation Claims

In a near-unanimous 7-page opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers need not have “actual knowledge” that an employee is requesting a modification of his position for religious purposes in order to be required to...more

Supreme Court Agrees With EEOC on Duty to Accommodate Suspected Religious Practices

Last year, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a controversial opinion absolving a clothing retailer from failing to hire a Muslim applicant for employment who did not tell the company that the headscarf worn at her job...more

Confounding the equality paradigm: accommodating religious practice after EEOC v. Abercrombie - 3 steps for employers

There is a traditional defense to claims of unequal treatment: lack of knowledge. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., 575 U.S. ____ (June 1, 2015), that too was the employer’s...more

Supreme Court Sides with EEOC in Longstanding Hijab Dispute with National Clothing Retailer

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the EEOC in the well-chronicled case involving a Muslim job applicant who the EEOC claimed was illegally denied employment because of her religion. In EEOC v. Abercrombie &...more

Accommodating Religious Practices in the Workplace: Time to Check Those Dress Codes

Use of a Dress Code Gone Bad - Employers catering to the public, or relying upon in-person customer contacts to promote their businesses, have frequently established employee "dress codes" to regularize the appearance of...more

SCOTUS rules against Abercrombie & Fitch in Tulsa religious discrimination case

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and against Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. in a religious discrimination lawsuit involving a Muslim job applicant at its Tulsa,...more

Religious Discrimination – U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision on Closely Watched Case

On October 3, 2014, I posted a blog entry that the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear the EEOC’s appeal over whether a national retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc., violated the prohibition against...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie: What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Risk of Religious Discrimination Claims...

On June 1, the Supreme Court issued an 8-1 decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to...more

Dress Codes, Religion and the Workplace – More Than Meets the Eye

On its face EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. dealt with an employer’s refusal to hire a Muslim woman who wore a headscarf in accordance with her religion, but the Supreme Court’s decision affects many more workplace...more

Religious Discrimination Suit Over Muslim Job Applicant’s Hijab; U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch

In a ruling handed down yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a religious discrimination case against the popular clothing retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch Stores,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Failure to Accommodate Religion May Be Evidence of Intentional Discrimination

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held in favor of the EEOC in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Store Stores, Inc. The EEOC claimed that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) by refusing to...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of EEOC in Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case

Employers Cannot Refuse to Hire Applicants Based on Religious Belief or Practice, Even If Not Specifically Asked for an Accommodation - WASHINGTON-The U.S. Supreme Court held today in an 8-1 decision written by Justice...more

Supreme Court Rules Employer’s Motive (Not Knowledge) Decides Disparate-Treatment Claims

On June 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided whether an employer’s obligations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are triggered only when an applicant has informed the employer of his or her...more

What An Interesting Nose Ring – Now Take It Out

Many retailers consider the professional appearance of their staff to be a significant aspect of their customers’ shopping experience. Unkempt, unclean, and unfriendly employees create negative impressions that injure the...more

Thomson Reuters Session - April: Investment Management, Hedge Funds & Registered Mutual Funds: What's Happening Now? [Video]

Pepper partner Gregory J. Nowak has regularly hosted a roundtable in Pepper’s New York office for private funds and their managers to discuss issues in the investment management world. He has recently started to give a...more

Federal Judge Dismisses EEOC Complaint Claiming "No Dreadlocks" Policy Discriminates Based On Race

Previously we told you that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was suing an Alabama insurance company for allegedly discriminating against African American job applicants because the company's grooming...more

California Rings In 2013 With New Employment Laws

After the Mayans failed to predict the end of the world on December 21, 2012, it became apparent that California employers would have to comply with a string of new laws that take effect on January 1, 2013. Here is a summary...more

Social Media and Beyond: California Ushers in New Employment Laws for 2013

The California legislature was particularly busy this past session in enacting new laws that directly affect employers in 2013. The new laws address a wide variety of topics, including social media protections for employees;...more

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