Gate of Heaven Closes Out Discrimination Claim By Raising Ministerial Exemption

Vickie Fisher was employed as the Co-Director of Gate of Heaven Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery owned and operated by Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  In fall 2010, a cemetery employee complained to the Archdiocese that Fisher and her compatriot were part of a scheme to sell damaged grave markers for scrap metal and distribute the cash proceeds to Gate of Heaven employees.  It was also alleged Fisher was using profanity in her dealings with employees. ...
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EEOC Issues New Guidance On Religious Dress And Grooming Standards

The EEOC recently published new technical assistance explaining its view of how federal employment discrimination law, specifically Title VII, applies to religious dress and grooming standards.  Employers may encounter many types of religious dress and grooming practices according to the EEOC, including:  (a) wearing religious clothing or articles (e.g., a Muslim hijab, a Sikh turban, or a Christian cross); (b) observing a prohibition on wearing...
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Court Rejects Hotel Room Discrimination Claim Without Reservations

Business trips are a fact of life for many employees.  Reserving hotel rooms for these trips is commonplace: either the employee or a company representative contacts the hotel, and the hotel then arranges a room for that guest based on its current availability.  In spite of this, a disgruntled individual recently tried to sue his former company based on little more than the room he was assigned during one such trip in Rahman v. Crystal Equation,...
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Employer Off The Hook For Not Accommodating Employee’s Religious Beliefs

The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed that a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs is not required if such accommodation would cause an undue hardship.  That is, an accommodation is not necessary if it would result in more than a de minimis cost to the employer.  EEOC v. Thompson Contracting, Grading, Paving, & Utils. Inc., No. 11-11897 (4th Cir.  Dec. 14, 2012) (unpublished). Banayah Yisrael worked for Thompson...
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