The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a consent decree with a federal court in Texas to resolve claims that a Burger King franchise operator discriminated against a former cashier on the basis of religion. EEOC v. Fries Rest. Mgmt., LLC, No. 12-3169 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Tex., Dallas Div., filed January 16, 2013). Without admitting liability, the operator has agreed to settle the claims by paying $25,000 to the former employee, who was allegedly fired for wearing a skirt on the job as required by her Pentecostal Christian religion, in two checks: one for $5,000 attributable to wages, and one for $20,000 attributable to claims of mental anguish and suffering.
The Burger King franchisee will also post on employee bulletin boards “its policy against religious discrimination and duty to accommodate” and “conduct an annual training session [in 2013 and 2014] for all district managers and general managers for Defendant’s Texas Burger King Restaurants, advising them of the requirements and prohibitions of the federal anti-discrimination laws with a special emphasis on religious discrimination.” The consent decree requires court approval. Additional details about the case appear in Issue 451 of this Update.