David Norken to Speak on Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace                                                       
On Friday evening January 30, 2014, at the Shabbat Evening Service at Mishkan Torah Synagogue ,Administrative Law Judge David Norken of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) will speak about the latest developments regarding the wearing of religious garb and grooming in the workplace. Judge Norken is a former EEOC trial attorney.

The topic raises numerous questions.For example, may a Jew wear a Jewish Star, Mezuzah or skullcap to work? May a Rastafarian wear dreadlocks on the job? What about a Muslim woman wearing a Hijab, or for that matter, a observant Jewish woman wearing a scarf or a wig to work? Does the employer have to provide reasonable accommodation for permitted garb or grooming? Judge Norken will be considering these and related questions in his speech on Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace.

On March 6, 2014, the EEOC addressed these and related questions and issued a Guidance called Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace and an accompanying Fact Sheet. Judge Norken will discuss this Guidance and Fact Sheet, explain the kinds of religious accommodations regarding dress and grooming to which employees are entitled , and how the new Guidance is different from Guidance in the past. The service will begin at 8:00 p.m. Judge Norken will give his talk during the service at the normal time for the sermon.