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Galleria Hollister sued by EEOC

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a local clothing store for violating a former employee's religious rights.

The EEOC lawsuit alleges that the Hollister Company store in the St. Louis Galleria fired Lakettra Bennett because the young woman asked to be allowed to wear longer skirts to work. Bennett said the requirements that Hollister's female employees wear short skirts or pants were against the Pentecostal faith she followed.

Bennett was not strictly following the faith's dress code when she first went to work for Hollister. But that doesn't matter, said regional EEOC attorney Barbara Seeley

"The law places the responsibility on the employer to accommodate the religious beliefs of the employee. I don't believe that she had any obligation to investigate Hollister's dress code before she took the job," Seely said.

The general counsel for Abercrobmie and Fitch, Hollister's parent company, had not seen the lawsuit. But David Cupp said in a statement that Abercrombie is committed to diversity and he would be very surprised if the store had not followed anti-discrimination laws.

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