Georgia Blue: No discrimination over religious objection to pants

Published 1:52 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

(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.

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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.