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Cloutier V. Costco Wholesale Corp.

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jackie47
Words 487
Pages 2
Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp.
In this case Kimberly Cloutier worked as a cashier for Costco. In March 2001, Costco revised its dress code to prohibit all facial jewelry, aside from earrings. Cloutier was advised to remove facial piercings. Cloutier refused because she is a member of the Church of Body Modification (CBM), which was established in 1999 and has about 1,000 members who participate in such practices as piercing, tattooing, branding, cutting, and body manipulation. Eventually, Cloutier was fired. The district court granted summary judgment on the basis that Costco had offered a reasonable accommodation. But the First Circuit decides to uphold the grant of summary judgment on other grounds. The only accommodation that Cloutier will accept is exemption from the dress code. The First Circuit holds that Costco had no duty to offer a reasonable accommodation because doing so would create an undue hardship. An accommodation constitutes an undue hardship if it would impose more than a de minimis cost on the employer. The undue hardship claimed by Costco is that it has a legitimate interest in presenting a workforce to its customers that is, at least in Costco's eyes, reasonably professional in appearance. Costco has determined that facial piercings, aside from earrings, detract from the "neat, clean and professional image" that it aims to cultivate. Such a business determination is within its discretion. For similar reasons, the Court also upholds the grant of summary judgment on a claim brought under Massachusetts state law.
Petty v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville & Davidson City
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees returning veterans reemployment with their former employers and prohibits employers from discriminating against veterans based on their military service, 38 U.S.C. 4301–4335. In this case Petty claimed that...

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...allowed to discriminate on an individual as far as their religious beliefs allow. In the case of Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp. we have an individual suing Costco Wholesale Corp. for religious discrimination because she was terminated for not strictly following the employer's dress code of not having any facial jewelry except for earrings. "Kimberly M. Cloutier, Plaintiff, Appellant, alleges that her employer, Costco Wholesale Corp. (Costco), failed to offer her a reasonable accommodation after she alerted it to a conflict between the “no facial jewelry” provision of its dress code and her religious practice as a member of the Church of Body Modification. She argues that this failure amounts to religious discrimination in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a), and the corresponding Massachusetts statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, § 4(1A). Religious beliefs that she be allowed to wear facial jewelry are found in the tennents of her religious organization" It would be up to The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and then subsequently the US appeals court to make rulings either for or against the appellant. Costco has developed an extensive dress code policy and expected all of its employees to follow this policy strictly to be able to maintain a business atmosphere. After the employee failed to remove her facial jewelry, Costco suspended the employee due to...

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