Legal Blog

Telebriefs®: Religious Accommodation the Under Civil Rights Act of 1964

65_abercrombie--fitch-white-gold-leaf-painted-sign-new-york-cityThe previous Telebrief® included a summary of Eloff v. Abercrombie and Fitch, a case currently being argued in front of the Supreme Court. At the heart of the case is the question of religious accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: specifically, in this instance, whether a Muslim woman can be denied employment on the grounds that her hijab is at odds with Abercrombie and Fitch’s “preppy” dress code requirements. Though the Court will likely announce its decision sometime in May or June, recent comments by the justices suggest Abercrombie and Fitch is poised to lose the argument. Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Ginsberg each indicated employers could easily accommodate an applicant’s beliefs, avoid stereotyping, and comply with Title VII by asking a few simple questions. While the decision has yet to be rendered, it is relatively safe to assume the Court will essentially impose an obligation on employers to start the dialogue with any applicant who may have an obvious need for a religious accommodation. Other topics covered in March’s first Telebrief® include two New Jersey cases surrounding religious proselytizing in the workplace, the well-publicizied sexual harassment case Ellen Pao brought against Kleiner Perkins, considerations for dismantling traditionally male-dominated corporate cultures, and more. To read more or to listen to the March 11th Telebrief®, or to listen to past installments, please click here.  


Geared to executives with employee relations responsibilities (HR directors, supervisors, managers, business owners), Labor and Employment Telebriefs® are information-packed 30 minute briefings via the telephone. Telebriefs® provide information and insights to help executives stay current with latest workplace law developments and in front of trends so as to enable proactive policy making and management . On the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, from 9 – 9:30 am ET, join Offit Kurman Labor & Employment Chair Howard Kurman, as he discusses developments occurring over the past two weeks that will most significantly impact employers nationwide. The focus is squarely on the practical. Why is this event significant for employers? What are the lessons to be learned or actions taken? These twice-monthly teleconferences are an easy way to stay current and compliant with the latest Labor and Employment law developments that will significantly affect you and your company.  Our guarantee: You will learn something useful, on every call! If you have any questions regarding  labor and employment issues please contact Howard Kurman: | 410.209.6417


Howard Kurman website Howard K. Kurman is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department. Mr. Kurman regularly counsels clients on all aspects of proactive employment/labor issues. He represents employers ranging in size from as small as 20 employees to those employers with geographically disparate locations consisting of over 4,000 employees. Mr. Kurman assures, through regular contact with his clients, that they promulgate and maintain the most effective employment policies that will, to the extent possible, minimize their legal exposure in today’s litigious workplace. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via FacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn. WASHINGTON | BALTIMORE | FREDERICK | PHILADELPHIA | WILMINGTON | VIRGINIA