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Georgia Blue: No discrimination over religious objection to pants

(AP) — A Mississippi restaurant chain denies that it discriminated against the religious beliefs of a Pentecostal woman by refusing to let her wear a denim skirt instead of blue jeans while she worked as a waitress.

.J. William Manuel, a lawyer for Georgia Blue LLC, said Wednesday in a statement that the company “does not discriminate on any basis.” Manuel says the four-restaurant company will defend itself against a lawsuit filed Monday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The federal agency says the Mississippi-based company, that has two locations in Brookhaven, failed to “reasonably accommodate” the beliefs of Kaetoya Watkins, who told a Georgia Blue manager at the Flowood location that her religion prohibits her from wearing pants.

The lawsuit says Watkins received no response but was fired when she went to work in November 2015 wearing a denim skirt.

Georgia Blue also has restaurants in Madison and Hattiesburg.