Dress Codes

News & Analysis as of

Retailers Should Heed Supreme Court Guidance On Religion

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court held that retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch committed religious discrimination by refusing to hire an applicant (EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, read Alert here). The company believed...more

A Return Of “Common Sense” To The Courtroom? DC Circuit Concludes That AT&T Connecticut Was Justified In Banning Employees From...

How would you feel if a telephone or cable repair person showed up at your residence wearing a t-shirt that said “Inmate”? In Southern New England Telephone Company v. National Labor Relations Board the United States Court...more

Dealership Handbooks Remain In The NLRB's Crosshairs

As we advised almost a year ago, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently been subjecting dealership handbooks to increased legal scrutiny. Whether or not your dealership is unionized, your employment policies...more

Supreme Court Expands Religious Discrimination Liability

Most employers know that Title VII prohibits discrimination against applicants or employees based on religion. They also know that Title VII requires employers to provide reasonable, religion-based accommodations to employees...more

AT&T Was Right in Banning Employee “Prisoner” T-shirts

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled that AT&T had a right to forbid its employees, when interacting with the public, from wearing t-shirts that the company reasonably believed could harm its...more

Muslim Applicant Can Proceed With Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, wore a headscarf when she interviewed for a job with Abercrombie & Fitch. Although the headscarf was not discussed during the interview, the store allegedly decided not to offer Elauf a...more

Abercrombie Resolves Religious Discrimination Case Following Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of EEOC

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court has granted Abercrombie & Fitch's request to dismiss its appeal of EEOC's successful religious discrimination suit against the company, the federal agency announced today. This represents...more

“Common Sense” Shows The Value of a Well-Written Dissent: Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB

It must be frustrating to be in the minority of an administrative adjudicatory body and to constantly be forced to write dissenting opinions, as was the case for former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Brian E....more

NLRB Reversed for Ignoring “Common Sense”

In Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB, the D.C. Circuit reversed an NLRB decision finding it unlawful to prohibit public-facing employees (including in-home service technicians) from wearing a particular t-shirt...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie In Headscarf Religious Accommodation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the EEOC’s lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., alleging that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by refusing to hire a Muslim applicant, who wore a...more

If Your Baristas Can Show Off Their Tattoos, Will Your Employees Be Next?

Coffee giant Starbucks recently announced a major change to its dress and appearance policy, allowing baristas to visibly display tattoos for the first time in the company’s 44-year history. The company decided that employee...more

Supremes Say Abercrombie Not So Hip

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its much-awaited religious discrimination decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 575 U.S. ___ (June 1, 2015) (No. 14-86). Samantha Elauf applied for a job with A&F and was denied the job...more

Employer’s Motive, Not Confirmed Knowledge Of Accommodation Need, Is Basis Of Religious Accommodation Violation

Federal anti-discrimination laws (“Title VII”) prohibit an employer from refusing to hire a candidate to avoid accommodating a suspected, but unconfirmed religious practice, according to a recent United States Supreme Court...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - June 2015

Employer’s Motive, Not Confirmed Knowledge Of Accommodation Need, Is Basis Of Religious Accommodation Violation - Federal anti-discrimination laws (“Title VII”) prohibit an employer from refusing to hire a candidate to...more

Accommodating Dress Codes

It’s hot outside, and that got us thinking about dress codes. Over the past two weeks, the media has been fascinated with employer dress codes – from Walmart allowing denim to Mayo nixing pantyhose to Abercrombie’s “look...more

Supreme Court Agrees With EEOC In Regard To Religious Accommodation

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores in which it held that a job applicant can experience religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act...more

Supreme Court Holds Employers Must Make Religious Accommodations Even Without Actual Knowledge of Need for Accommodation

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employers from, among other things, refusing to hire an applicant because of his or her religion or religious practice. As a general rule, employers must...more

Supreme Court Update: Kerry V. Din (13-1402), Mata V. Lynch (14-185) And Baker Botts V. Asarco (14-103)

The Court took care of some additional throat-clearing on Monday, handing down three decisions: Kerry v. Din (13-1402), holding that no additional process was due a U.S. citizen whose husband's visa application was denied;...more

You Can’t Stick Your Head in the Sand: Dos and Don’ts for Religious Accommodation in Hiring After EEOC v. Abercrombie

On June 1, 2015, in a 8-1 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the religious-discrimination case of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. We blogged about that opinion on...more

Supreme Court Sides with EEOC in Abercrombie & Fitch Hijab Case

On Monday, June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court reversed a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit which had granted Abercrombie & Fitch (“Abercrombie”) summary judgment in a religious...more

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: Do You Need to Ask Applicants Whether They Require Religious Accommodation?

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that a job applicant can establish religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 without proof that the employer had “actual knowledge” of the...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

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

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