published Friday, July 29th, 2011

Feds file lawsuit in Taco Bell haircut dispute

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The federal government is suing a North Carolina Taco Bell franchisee, claiming the company fired an employee whose religious beliefs prohibit him from cutting his hair.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims Family Foods Inc. illegally fired Christopher Abbey from a Fayetteville Taco Bell in April 2010.

The complaint says Abbey was told to cut his hair or lose his job. Abbey belongs to an obscure religious group called the Nazirites (NAZZ'-uh-rites), whose members cite Old Testament passages as forbidding haircuts.

The EEOC says firing Abbey over his religious beliefs is against the law. The agency wants policy changes at Family Foods along with back pay and damages for Abbey.

No one answered the phone at the company's office Thursday afternoon.

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rolando said...

Well, that's one Taco Bell to avoid. I wonder if the sect forbids hairnets, too. Shaving, as well.

Never was one for hair in my food. Leave it up to the nanny government to forbid things that add to good sanitary conditions...

July 29, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

I didn't know Taco Bell was part of the nanny government.

July 29, 2011 at 7:54 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I wonder if her also ristricts himself from allowing any sweet thing to pass his lips?

July 29, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
tderng said...

the justice department of this country is now the laughingstock of the world!!!!!

July 29, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Why is it everybody thinks the constitution is a free all be all pass to do what ever the heck you want?! It's like people believe it was written so that we could say "YES!!! No more Rules!!" But thats not the purpose of the constitution at all! Hello, businesses have rules in place, IE: Dress Code, and those rules are in place for a reason. Hey moron!! If you wanna grow your hair down to ur butt, here's a smart career decision: DONT WORK AROUND FOOD!! I dont want you hair funk in my bean burrito you Nazarite! Yes companies have policies and rules in place and if you cant abide by those rules....wait...heres a thought...GO WORK SOMEWHERE ELSE!And Nooga, if ur a female tryin to get a job at Chippendales guess what....NOT THE BEST JOB CHOICE THERE EITHER! Rules are rules...learn to live with them you bunch of spoiled i want everything my way brats!!!

July 29, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
LibDem said...

Strange how women can grow long hair without being unsanitary but guys not so much.

July 29, 2011 at 12:19 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

yeah burnt....ow. Another cry baby lib wanting everything handed to them on a silver platter while being spoon fed from the momma. I'm sure there is a (use to be in my day) no hair on the collar dress code for both women and men. As to why if you would take ur heads outta ur butts long enough to notice you would see if you took the time to notice. Plus seeing as how we dont know the entire story, imagine that coming from this Lib-infected news media source, im sure theres more to it. Once again it isnt about who can grow their hair the longest and keep it Fabio flowing nice the longest. But its about recognizing that as a business, they can have any rules they want to in place. If that means that they have a clean cut man rule in place, then so be it. GUESS WHAT!! THATS THEIR FRIGGIN RIGHT!!! Go work some where else and bug them about their rules, ya bunch of lib cry babies. Now Nooga if you cant fight ur own battles keep ur IM-A-LIB yap shut and stop interrupting the adults when were talking! Snot nosed lil mommas lib butt kisser if i had to guess......Have a nice day.

July 29, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
fairmon said...

Taco Bell will win the lawsuit but will have to spend money on legal fees. Employers do have rights and have the right to establish and enforce safety and health rules. The EEOC has no option but to investigate and notify the defendant in every case even if the charge is frivolous. I am assuming the employer made no reference to religion in their decision.

Pants showing the crack, tattoos, piercings are not protected. This case attempts to use religion as justification for violating a health and safety rule which is not likely to hold up in court. Too many employers settle to avoid legal cost which causes more frivolous suits to be filed. I hope they defend, win and file a frivolous suit action to recover their legal cost from the lawyer and individual filing the lawsuit.

July 29, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
mtngrl said...

It seems to me that long hair would be more sanitary than short hair, as long as it is contained in a ponytail or something if neither is in a hairnet. If a hair comes loose the ponytail holder would catch it. Long hair does not come loose any more than short hair does.

Are you folks saying that you would be OK finding a hair in your food as long as its a short one??

July 29, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
Eric said...

No one answered the question about why is it okay for females to have long hair and work in fast food and not males? I agree Taco Bell is a private business and can enforce a dress code. And in right to work states employees can be fired for any reason, as long as it isn't an illegal reason. Taco Bell should have just fired the employee for poor job performance. I've gotten rid of many nusances that way.

But the question remains...why is it not unsanitary for females to have long hair and work with food?

July 29, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.
ceeweed said...

N.C. is a right-to-work state. Taco Bell should have just said, "You're fired, you are not working out", "Move on". Problem solved.

July 29, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
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July 29, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Schubie said...

What I'm waiting for is some guy to tell the IRS that paying taxes is against his religion. So far, it appears that your so-called religion can get you Carte Blanche.

July 29, 2011 at 11:13 p.m.
Eric said...

So cbtole, you've never seen a woman with long hair working in fast food?

And people have already tried the tax game. It has never worked.

July 30, 2011 at 9:06 a.m.
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