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WingStop Franchise Settles Religious Discrimination Case

Posted by: CEA's HR Advisor Team on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in a religious discrimination case with Paradise Wings, LLC doing business as Wingstop Restaurant (Paradise Wings) involving a job applicant who was denied employment because of her religious dress practice.

The Complainant, a Muslim woman, filed a complaint with DFEH on March 29, 2017, alleging that she applied for a job as a cashier and asked whether she would be allowed to wear a headscarf and skirt as part of her religious practice. She alleged that a manager told her that wearing headscarves was against company policy and that wearing jeans was part of the workplace uniform.

The complainant offered to make a headscarf that matched the workplace uniform and wear a denim skirt. A manager told the complainant that she would respond after contacting the corporate office, but Paradise Wings never contacted the complainant again.

DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred and filed a civil complaint in San Diego Superior Court (DFEH v. Paradise Wings dba WingStop Restaurant, San Diego County Superior Court 37-2018-00016106).

“California law explicitly requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for religious dress and grooming practices,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “For most employers and most jobs, it is not a burden to modify workplace dress policies in order to accommodate employees who wear skirts, headscarves, or other clothing worn for religious purposes.”

As part of the settlement, the franchisee will pay the complainant $5,000 and send employees involved in the hiring process to a training provided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) regarding religious discrimination.

Source: Department of Fair Employment & Housing

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