News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Ruling Endangers Ignorance Defense

Until now, job application and interview questions that reveal applicants’ protected characteristics have been strongly discouraged. In an economy where dozens of people apply for a vacant job posting, knowing too much about...more

Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch in Religious Discrimination Case

In a previous blog post we discussed the facts, and potential consequences of a pro-plaintiff holding in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Store, Inc. As a brief recap, in 2008, Samantha Elauf, a...more

[Event] EEOC Emerging Trends in Employment Discrimination - July 16, Troy, MI

Employment laws and regulations are continuously changing and often cause confusion in employers and HR personnel. As a result, keeping up with the laws can be extremely frustrating for employers and others responsible for...more

Questions remain following US Supreme Court's “headscarf” ruling

The Supreme Court’s recent “headscarf” decision (EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 2015 WL 2464053, 575 U.S. __ (June 1, 2015)) has received extensive attention in the media and across the Internet. The basic holding of the case...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

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

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Continued: Did the Supreme Court Pave the Way for ADA Claims Based on Nonobvious Disabilities?

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Title VII case involving religious discrimination. While the case did not directly involve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the...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

Supreme Court Holds That Employers Do Not Need Actual Knowledge of an Applicant’s Need for a Religious Accommodation Before They...

The Supreme Court recently held that job applicants may hold their potential employer liable for intentional discrimination under Title VII if the applicant can show that his or her need for an accommodation was a motivating...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

Supreme Court Ruling Highlights Risks for Employers at Interview - Plaintiff Can Prove Title VII Claim by Showing That Employer...

The United States Supreme Court issued an 8-1 ruling in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.The Court ruled that Abercrombie violated Title VII by refusing to...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

EEOC V. Abercrombie’s Lesson For Employers – In 5 Minutes Or Your Money Back

In a nutshell, the Supreme Court decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie means this: if an employment decision is motivated by religion – even if the employer does not actually know the religious need of the individual – then the...more

Heads or Tails? New Guidance from the Supreme Court Nearly Flips Religious Accommodations Law on Its Head

Arabic businesswoman in officeOn Monday, June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that an employer may not refuse to hire an applicant if the need for a religious accommodation was a motivating factor in the...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 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

BEWARE OF DOG(MA): Did The Supreme Court Just Require Employers to Accommodate Whenever A Request *Might* Be Due to Religion?

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long awaited decision in the "Looks Policy" case, and it's not terribly unexpected, but is a little scary considering the potential far reaching effects going forward. ...more

Supreme Court Decides Employers Must Make Religious Accommodations Regardless of Knowledge of Need for Accommodation

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., that an employer violates federal anti-discrimination law where an applicant’s need for a religious...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

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