U.S.

Publix settles federal lawsuit over dreadlocks, religious freedom

Publix Super Markets agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a religious accommodation discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Wednesday.

The federal agency filed suit based on a complaint from a job applicant at a store in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a news release. The applicant, a member of the Rastafarian religious sect, received a job offer, but a Publix supervisor then asked if he planned to withdraw his application after he refused to cut his hair to meet Publix’s grooming policy.

The applicant wears dreadlocks “as part of his sincerely held Rastafarian religious belief,” the EEOC said in the release. He asked for a religious accommodation that would allow him to work for Publix without cutting his hair.

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