DALLAS (CN) - A Burger King franchisee will pay $25,000 to settle claims over a Pentecostal woman who allegedly lost her job after insisting that she had to wear a skirt.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions filed an August 2012 federal complaint
against Fries Restaurant Management LLC dba Burger King over the firing.
Last week, the parties filed a consent decree with U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn in Dallas.
The settlement requires Fries to pay the employee, Ashanti McShan, $5,000 in back wages and $20,000 for mental anguish and non-wage damages.
Fries also agreed to publicize its religious discrimination and duty to accommodate with a post on Burger King restaurant employee bulletin boards in Texas.
"For 2013 and 2014, defendant agrees to conduct an annual training session 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 nine-page consent decree states. "The training will also inform these individuals of the necessity of attempting to accommodate the religious beliefs of applicants and employees."
In its complaint, the EEOC said the Pentacostal interpretation of scripture reequires women to only wear skirts and dresses.
"The defendant hired Ms. McShan as a cashier," the complaint states. "At the time of her interview for the job, Ms. McShan asked to wear a skirt instead of uniform pants as a religious accommodation. Defendant assured her that she could wear a skirt to work."
It added: "When she arrived at work for orientation, the store management informed Ms. McShan that she could not wear a skirt and that she had to leave the store. Ms. McShan was required to leave despite her explanation that she was wearing the skirt with the understanding that she would be allowed a religious accommodation."