Wednesday, May 10, 2023

EEOC Sues IHOP Restaurant for Failing to Accommodate Cook's Religious Beliefs

The EEOC announced yesterday that it has filed a Title VII religious discrimination suit in a North Carolina federal district court against a Charlotte, North Carolina IHOP restaurant operated by Suncakes, LLC.  The EEOC charged that the restaurant failed to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious exercise:

... Suncakes hired a cook ... in January 2021. At the time of hire, the employee requested and was granted a religious accommodation of not working on Sundays to honor his religious observances. After a change in management in April 2021, the new general manager expressed hostility toward the accommodation and required the employee to work on Sunday, April 25 and Sunday, May 9. After the May 9 shift, the employee told the general manager he would not be working the following Sunday. The general manager refused to allow the employee to work his next scheduled shift and fired him. The manager then made comments to other employees such as, “religion should not take precedence over [the employee’s] job”” and that the employee “thinks it is more important to go to church than to pay his bills.”