The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) disclosed on Thursday that the grocery company Kroger settled a religious discrimination case over their uniform for $180,000, The Hill reported.
The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Kroger in 2020 on behalf of two ex-employees who were let go after refusing to wear a uniform with a logo they thought resembled the Pride flag. The two workers, Trudy Rickerd and Brenda Lawson, said that donning the uniform would go against their religious convictions.
In April 2019, a new apron was added to the store’s uniform at a Kroger in Conway, Arkansas, where Lawson and Rickerd were employed. The apron had a multicolored heart on it that some employees thought represented support for the LGBT community.
Rickerd resisted donning the apron, while Lawson donned the updated look while concealing the emblem with her nametag. For violating the dress code, both received citations.
In response, the two workers asked Kroger for religious accommodation. Kroger, however, came to the conclusion that “there was nothing to accommodate” since the insignia was not intended to signify support for the LGBT community.
Lawson and Rickerd finally lost their jobs because they persisted in refusing to wear the uniforms.
In the settlement reached on Thursday, Kroger agreed to make a $180,000 payment, develop a policy for accommodating religious practices, and provide store managers with better training on religious discrimination.
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