NFIB Small Business Legal Center Asks the Supreme Court to Clarify Religious Notice Requirement

Date: January 28, 2015
Immediate Release
Contact:  Kelly Klass 202-314-2054 or [email protected] 

NFIB Small
Business Legal Center Asks the Supreme Court to Clarify Religious Notice


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28,
In a US Supreme Court case that has significant
implications for small businesses, NFIB’s Legal Center argues that businesses
should not be obligated to pro-actively accommodate an employee’s religious
practices or observations without explicit notice—otherwise small businesses
would be subject to lawsuits based on an unclear and confusing standard.

Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center
, made the following statement in response
to NFIB’s amicus brief filing in EEOC v.
Abercrombie & Fitch
with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“NFIB is standing up for small businesses so that they are
not required to assume every applicant would require religious accommodation.
While NFIB agrees that religious discrimination should be banned from the
workplace, it is unreasonable to think that an employer can provide an adjustment
when it is not even requested or expressed. We hope that the Supreme Court
reaffirms that it is the responsibility of the employee to make accommodation
requests clear.”  

NFIB filed a
brief in support of Abercrombie, the clothing retailer, who is accused of
discrimination for declining to hire an applicant – the applicant claimed the
failure to hire was due to her wearing religious garb. The plaintiff is
alleging discrimination even though she never made clear that she would need an
exemption from the company’s dress code. According to Harned, the case has big
risks for small business owners.

“Employers should
not be expected to make an accommodation when none is requested – shifting the
burden from employee to employer creates a slippery slope.”

For more information, visit



NFIB Small Business Legal Center  is a 501(c)(3)
organization created to protect the rights of America’s small business owners
by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice
of small business is heard in the nation’s courts. The National Federation of
Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with
offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals


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