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Monday, January 6, 2014

KFC Agrees to Pay $40,000 to Settle Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Image gives credit to © TIM WIMBORNE/Reuters/Corbis.
After McDonalds’ took the center stage for agreeing to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is the next one to do the same effort.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recent press release, Scottish Food Systems, Inc., and Laurinburg KFC Take Home, Inc., the companies that  operate a chain of KFC restaurants in North Carolina, have agreed to pay $40,000 and furnish other reliefs to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed against them.

Under the lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of KFC’s former employee, Sheila Silver, the KFC restaurant in Rocky Mount, N.C., where Silver works, ultimately fired her after she refused to wear pants to work.

Silver was converted to Pentecostalism in 2010. Part of the said church’s religious beliefs include that women should not wear pants. Thus, Silver has not worn pants since she was converted.

Initially, not wearing pants as uniform was not a problem for Silver until Scottish Food Systems, Inc., and Laurinburg KFC Take Home, Inc. purchased the KFC restaurant in April, 2013.

Since then, she was required to wear pants despite informing the company that she could not do so due to her religious beliefs. Thus, she was eventually fired for refusing to wear pants to work.

The lawsuit further alleged that such employment misconduct is a clear violation to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Similar to what McDonalds was required to do so, KFC on the other hand is likewise ordered to accomplish a three-year consent decree adopting a formal religious accommodation policy. Also, it is required to provide annual training of managers and staffs. In addition, the company will post a copy of their anti-discrimination policy not only in their North Carolina store but in all of their facilities.

As it is, pursuing such religious discrimination case can be difficult and time-consuming particularly in Los Angeles, wherein such labor violation is very common. Thus, for the victims’ best interest, it is highly recommended to seek help from the federal labor agencies like the EEOC, that is dedicated in curbing such employment malpractice, or from an employment discrimination lawyer, who have decades of experience in handling employment discrimination cases.

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