Red Robin charged with religious discrimination – 2004-06-14 – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

The Seattle district office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said it has filed a federal suit against Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. for alleged religious discrimination against an employee.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the suit charges that Red Robin failed to accommodate and then illegally fired Edward Rangel, a practicing Kemetic, whose ancient Egyptian religion dictates that he wear tattoos on his wrists similar to thin bracelets. Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Red Robin’s dress code prohibits visible tattoos, but the suit claims that it would be sacrilegious for Rangel to cover his tattoos.

The EEOC said Rangel worked as a food server for Red Robin for eight months without complaint, but higher-level management became aware of the tattoos and he was fired.

The lawsuit, filed after the restaurant-chain operator rejected prelitigation conciliation, seeks monetary damages, antidiscrimination training and other injunctive relief, the EEOC said.

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