Local News

Religious discrimination alleged at Crabtree Belk store

Posted July 29, 2010 2:49 p.m. EDT

— The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Belk Inc. on Thursday, alleging that the chain's department store at Crabtree Valley Mall fired a woman because of her religious beliefs.

The lawsuit alleges that Myra Jones-Abid was working as a gift wrapper at Belk's in November 2008 when store managers ordered her to wear a Santa hat and Christmas-themed apron during the holiday season.

Jones-Abid is a Jehovah's Witness, and her religious practices prohibit her from celebrating holidays like Christmas, according to the lawsuit. When she explained why she couldn't wear the hat and apron, store managers fired her, the suit states.

The lawsuit seeks back pay for Jones-Abid and a court order requiring Belk's to implement policies that would prohibit religious discrimination.