Burger King’s employee dress code includes pants, so when 17-year-old Ashanti McShan interviewed for a job as a cashier, she made sure to ask if she could wear a skirt instead. McShan’s Pentecostal religion only allowed her to wear skirts and dresses. At the interview, McShan was assured that she could wear a skirt instead, but when she arrived at work for orientation, a manager insisted that she had to leave. Now Burger King is paying up for its refusal to accommodate her religion.
McShan filed a lawsuit against Fries Restaurant Management, which operates the Texas Burger King restaurant that hired her. Rather than let the suit go to trial, Burger King will pay her $25,000: $5,000 for back wages and $20,000 for mental anguish. The company also agreed to provide annual training sessions for managers, “with a special emphasis on religious discrimination.”
“We haven’t come far enough in our respect of religious liberties at the workplace if we have employers saying that uniform policies trump a religious observance without articulation of any hardship posed by letting an employee ‘hold the pickles’ and ‘hold the lettuce’ while wearing a skirt,” an EEOC lawyer said when McShan’s suit was first filed.
As the charismatic news source (“charismatic” by religion, not necessarily by personality) Charisma News explains, this is not the first lawsuit filed by a Pentecostal woman against an employer who objected to her wearing a skirt. In 2009, a woman in Washington DC received more than $47,000 from the city transit authority after she was turned down for a job as a bus driver because she wanted to wear a skirt to work.
Photo: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com