The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against Bo-Cherry, Inc., a North Carolina company that operates several Bojangles’ restaurants in the Charlotte metro area.
The EEOC claims that Devin Charles was discriminated against and then fired by the restaurant company because of his Muslim religion.
When Charles interviewed for a job with a Bojangles’ restaurant in Charlotte in May 2012, the manager allegedly told him that he might need to cut his beard. Charles told the manager that he couldn’t cut his beard because of his Sunni Muslim faith.
Charles was hired for the position, and on his second day of work at the Bojangles’ restaurant, the district manager allegedly told him that he needed to shave off his beard in order to continue working for Bojangles’.
Charles reminded the manager that he could not shave his beard because of his religion and asked if he could wear a beard net instead.
According to the EEOC, the manager refused to let Charles wear a beard net and told him to leave the restaurant and to not return to work until he cut off his beard. Charles refused to shave his beard and was allegedly fired as a result.
EEOC regional attorney Lynette Barnes said, “Under federal law, employers have an obligation to attempt a fair balance between an employee’s right to practice his or her religion and the operation of their business. This case demonstrates the EEOC’s commitment to fighting religious discrimination in the workplace.”