Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | October 6, 2008

Pentecostal fired for refusing to wear short skirt

By Robert Patrick/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

A woman was fired from her job at the Hollister clothing store in the St. Louis Galleria for refusing to wear short skirts, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The suit says that the Hollister clothing company refused to allow LaKettra Bennett to wear a skirt that covered her knee, in keeping with her Pentecostal religious beliefs.

Hollister’s “Look Policy” requires employees to wear skirts that fall above the knee, the suit says.

Bennett, now 23, worked for Hollister from June to September last year, said Melvin Kennedy, senior trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit in federal court in St. Louis.

Representatives of Hollister could not be reached for comment. David Cupps, general counsel for the parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, would not comment directly on the suit, but said the company “has a long-standing committment to fostering diversity and inclusiveness.”

Kennedy said Hollister’s policy did not spell out clothing length but required employees to “wear clothes that kind of look like the clothes they sell” and said Hollister at the time did not sell long-enough skirts.

Bennett now attends Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis, Kennedy said. She could not be reached for comment.

The suit asks for back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, and says Hollister and the EEOC were unable to work out a settlement. If successful, the suit would require Hollister to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs.

Federal law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations of workers’ sincerely held religious beliefs.

“Allowing a sales associate to wear a skirt that covers her knees will not injure Hollister’s business,” said EEOC regional attorney Barbara Seely in a prepared statement.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: