Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Ex worker says that Denny's engaged in employment discrimination

At a Denny's location outside of California, a former employee claims that he was forced to choose between his religious beliefs and his job. A statement made my Denny's corporate office said that the company has zero tolerance for employment discrimination, but the plaintiff says otherwise. He claims that his kufi, an Islamic head covering, was the reason that he was fired.

The plaintiff worked as a server at night. After his seven and a half hour shifts, he claims that he would go home with less than $25. To support his family, the plaintiff needed to make more money, so he requested to work day shifts instead. He alleges that he was only permitted to work during the day if he removed his kufi. The man refused to remove his head covering because it represented his religious beliefs.

After a month, the plaintiff was apparently given a letter stating that his kufi was against the company dress code policy. If he did not remove his kufi within two weeks, he was apparently going to be fired. This letter is what prompted the plaintiff to turn to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for help. While the investigation of the discrimination was being conducted, the plaintiff was fired.

EYM Diner LLC -- the Denny's franchise owner in the area -- contends that the plaintiff was never told to remove his kufi and that it did not engage in employment discrimination. Additionally, the owner claims that the letter was written as a favor to the plaintiff by the night manager, who did not have the authority to write it. The plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for his ordeal, which apparently caused extreme hardship to his family. It is against the law for California businesses to engage in discrimination based on any legally protected status and those who feel they are aggrieved can turn to the civil court system to attempt to right the wrongs against them.

Source:, "Muslim man says Ocala Denny's fired him over religious head covering", Adrienne Cutway, Sept. 30, 2015

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