Kroger is facing a lawsuit for firing two employees over the refusal of wearing rainbow-colored emblems that violate religious beliefs.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Kroger Company on Monday for the discriminatory behavior of Kroger Store No. 625 in Conway, Arkansas against the two employees. Two employees were terminated after they refused to abide by the new dress code that required wearing pro-LGBT aprons depicting a rainbow-colored heart emblem which they feared would signify the endorsing of the LGBTQ movement which is against their religious beliefs.
One woman offered to wear the apron with the emblem covered and another offered to wear a different apron but according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "the company made no attempt to accommodate their requests" and that "Kroger retaliated against them by disciplining and ultimately discharging them."
EEOC argued that Kroger's behavior of terminating employees violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which "prohibits discrimination in all areas of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or gender."
EEOC is working to secure "monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory damages" and an "injuction against future discrimination."
Delner-Franklin Thomas, district director of the EEOC'S Memphis office, which has jurisdiction over the case argued in a statement, "Companies have an obligation under Title VII to consider requests for religious accommodations, and it is illegal to terminate employees for requesting an accommodation for their religious belief."
"The EEOC protects the rights of the LGBTQ community, but it also protects the rights of religious people," said Thomas.
Kroger was involved in a lawsuit with the EEOC in 2019 for disability discrimination where it terminated a visually impaired employee for requesting an accommodation for a portion of the new employee orientation and settled by paying $40,000.