Michigan Verdicts

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Pentecostal beliefs required woman to wear skirt at work

Amount:

$22,500

Type:

Settlement

State:

Michigan

Venue:

Federal

Court:

U.S. District Court, Eastern District

Case Type:

Civil Rights – Title VII; Employment – Failure to Accommodate, Religious Discrimination; Civil Rights – Civil Rights Act of 1964

Case Name:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sleneem Enterprises LLC,
No. 2:17-cv-12337-DPH-RSW

Date:

September 14, 2017

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Miles L. Uhlar;
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
Detroit,
MI,
for
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Defendant(s):

Sleneem Enterprises LLC

Defense Attorney(s):

John D. Mackewich;
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP;
Troy,
MI,
for
Sleneem Enterprises LLC

Facts:

In 2015, claimant Amanda Corley was hired to work at a Tim Hortons Café and Bake Shop, in Romulus, which is owned by Sleneem Enterprises LLC. On Nov. 16, Corley sought permission to wear a skirt instead of pants, in accordance with her Pentecostal Apostolic religious beliefs. Corley allegedly attempted to present a letter from her pastor, explaining her need to wear a skirt. She was then fired. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Sleneem, alleging that it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sleneem maintained that Corley was terminated for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.

Injury:

The EEOC sought to recover back pay and unspecified amounts in compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC further sought to have Sleneem institute anti-discrimination policies and provide training on employee rights under Title VII.

Result:

The parties settled for $22,500 prior to discovery. Under a consent decree, Sleneem is prohibited to any similar discrimination in the future. The company is required to train its shift supervisors and managers on all forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VII, including the obligation to provide reasonable religious accommodations.

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.