In the News

Jill Vorobiev Authors Article for Inside Counsel

Offers Insight into EEOC Guidance on Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace

April 30, 2014

Jill S. Vorobiev, Chicago-based member in Dykema’s Labor & Employment practice, authored an article that appeared in the April 17, 2014 issue of Inside Counsel. In the article, themed “The EEOC Offers Guidance on Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace” Vorobiev sheds light on the reasoning that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission used to craft its guidance published in March 2014.

Vorobiev notes that the guidance clearly indicates, despite the Tenth Circuit’s Abercrombie decision to the contrary, that the EEOC intends to continue to hold employers—at least outside the Tenth Circuit—responsible for accommodating a religious practice absent a specific statement by the employee that the employee needs an accommodation due to a conflict between a religious practice and the employer’s neutral work rule. 

Vorobiev also states that the EEOC guidance “strongly articulates” that discriminatory customer preference will not serve as a defense to an employer’s failure to accommodate a religious dress or grooming practice claim, and denying a request for an accommodation under the rubric of protecting a company brand or image may also be unlawful. Employers, Vorobiev says, need to train managers so that they recognize what may constitute a request for a religious accommodation.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.