McDonald's to be sued by job-seeking bearded Orthodox Jew

The job applicant was willing to compromise by wearing his beard in a net, but McDonald's claimed that having a beard was in breach of their company policy.

By
July 21, 2019 09:05
1 minute read.
McDonald's, Waterbury, CT

McDonald's, Waterbury, CT. (photo credit: MIKE MOZART)

Why would having a beard disqualify you from working in McDonald's?

Well, an ultra-Orthodox man in Florida claims that he was not hired to work at McDonald's because of his beard, which is the custom of his Hasidic Lubavitch sect, it was reported in Newsweek.

When he applied in 2016 to be a maintenance worker at the McDonald's in Longwood, Florida, he was told that in order to be considered for the job, he would need to shave off his beard, as their employment policy was that male workers need to be clean-shaven.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) a McDonald's manager told the unnamed litigant that, "he had the job, but would need to shave his beard to be in compliance with McDonald's grooming and appearance policy." 

The job applicant was willing to compromise by wearing his beard in a net, but McDonald's wouldn't accept this - claiming that having a beard was in breach of their company policy.

The lawsuit is filed on Wednesday and is demanding wages that he would have earned for three years.

This is not the first time this type of case has arisen.

In 2017, the EEOC assisted a Rastafarian winning $30,000 in a case against Disney World, after being fired for not cutting his dreadlocks, which he wore for religious reasons.

"Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees' sincerely held religious beliefs so long as this does not pose an undue hardship to the business," the EEOC stated.


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