Religious Discrimination

News & Analysis as of

“Believe It or Not” SDNY Grants Summary Judgment to Employer on Religious Accommodation Claim

Seyfarth Synopsis: The District Court of the Southern District of New York granted an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an employee’s failure to accommodate claims, holding that the plaintiff did not hold a bona fide...more

Third Circuit Upholds District Court Decision in Pennsylvania Baptist Church Sign Case

Recently, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals entered an order upholding the district court’s decision in the case of Tearpock-Martini v. Shickshinny Borough, which we reported on last summer. The case involved an...more

Missouri Church Wins Digital Sign Appeal

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Adjustment abused its discretion in failing to grant a variance to Antioch Community Church (Church) to install digital components into its...more

Employment Law 2016 Review

Preparing for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania - Marijuana legalization reached Pennsylvania in 2016, bringing with it a host of new questions employers are going to have to answer. Signed into law on April 17, the...more

DOJ Claims that County’s Denial of a Sewer Permit Violates RLUIPA

Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”) filed suit in District Court for the Western District of Virginia against the Culpeper County Virginia Board of Supervisors alleging it acted in a discriminatory manor...more

Is There a Tree? No, There’s a Pole…

“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way…a Festivus for the rest of us.” What...more

How to Keep Your Holiday Party off of the Naughty List

With the holiday season officially upon us, many employers are finalizing plans to host a party for their employees. These festivities offer a time for colleagues to celebrate the year’s accomplishments, to extend season’s...more

EEOC Issues Updated National Origin Discrimination Enforcement Guidance

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released an updated Enforcement Guidance on national origin discrimination under Title VII. The Guidance is used by EEOC investigators to help determine whether a...more

Avoiding Appearance-based Discrimination Claims in the Workplace

Employees are generally considered the face of a company, projecting the brand’s image to customers and clients. In the face of this reality, employers often mandate certain grooming and appearance standards for employees –...more

Port Jervis, NY Sued by DOJ; Settles Two Days Later

The City of Port Jervis, New York has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that the City’s revision to its zoning code violated the Religious Land Use &...more

RLUIPA Round-Up: Happy Cyber Monday

Take a break from the sales and give the Round-Up a read: ABC Channel 9 in Sioux City reports on a US Justice Department inquiry into the proposed siting of Our Savior Lutheran Church in a former Budweiser warehouse in...more

Facial RLUIPA Claims Against Mobile, AL Dismissed

Earlier this year, the Thai Meditation Association of Alabama and several individual plaintiffs (“the Center”) filed suit against the City of Mobile, Alabama (“the City”), alleging that the denial of its application to...more

J.B. Hunt Transport Settles EEOC Religious Discrimination Charge for $260,000

Sikh Applicants Denied Religious Accommodation During the Hiring Process, Federal Agency Charges - LOS ANGELES - J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America, will pay...more

No New Trial: Court Grounds EEOC Following JetStream’s Victory In Religious Discrimination Trial

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following a major victory for an airline-industry employer over the EEOC in a Title VII action regarding religious accommodations, the Court denied the EEOC’s motion for a new trial. The decision is a...more

Appearance code quiz for employers!

How much can you do – and not do – about your employees’ personal appearance and grooming? Take this quiz and find out! As usual, I’ll have the answers at the end, so if you get one wrong, no one but you will know....more

Employers May Need To Offer Accomodations To Job Applicants And EMPLOYEES Even If They Do Not Ask For An Accomodation

Most employers maintain either formal or informal grooming and appearance policies. These policies address the employee’s personal appearance while at work including hairstyle, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, head coverings and...more

EEOC Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Akebono Brake Corporation

Company Refused to Hire Woman as Temp Worker Because Her Religion Forbade Her to Wear Trousers, Federal Agency Charges - COLUMBIA, S.C. - Akebono Brake Corporation, a Michigan-based company that designs and manufactures...more

$1.7 Million Settlement with DOJ and CAIR-MI

In 2011, Pittsfield Charter Township denied, allegedly without deliberation, Michigan Islamic Academy’s (“MIA”) application to rezone a 26 acre parcel (the “Property”) to allow the development of a pre-K through grade 12...more

Court finds Onionhead a religion in reverse religious discrimination case

Many of you who read the headline about “Onionhead” being considered a religion in the context of a discrimination case may have guffawed or shaken your head in disbelief. The 102-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge...more

Requiring A Flu Shot Over Religious Objections: Risky Business

It’s flu season and many employers, particularly those in healthcare, want to require employees to be vaccinated to minimize the spread of illness. But what happens when an employee refuses on religious grounds?...more

EEOC Announces New Enforcement Priorities - Gig Economy, High Tech Sector In The Crosshairs

Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a new series of enforcement priorities on which it will focus over the next five years. By releasing its second-ever Strategic Enforcement Plan,...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 13

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 13 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. - Failure to Update Business Associate Agreement Results in...more

Landmarking designation is alleged to violate RLUIPA

A brewing dispute in Yonkers, NY has led the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (ICCMW) to allege that Yonkers violated ICCMW’s rights under RLUIPA, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States...more

Company Practices "Onionhead" – Employees Cry Reverse Religious Discrimination

A New York federal court recently sided with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) as to whether a company’s internal conflict-resolution program was religious in nature. Because the program—called...more

Now Something Known As “Onionhead” Is A “Religion” For Which The EEOC Can Bring A Religious Discrimination Suit

Seyfarth Synopsis: In an EEOC religious discrimination case, a federal court found that “Onionhead” was a religion for purposes of Title VII. The court also found that the EEOC did not fail to meet its Title VII pre-suit...more

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