The Kroger grocery chain has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by two employees who refused to wear a heart-shaped, rainbow-colored pin as part of their uniforms.
The employees, Trudy Rickerd and Brenda Lawson, insisted that the pin was an endorsement of LGBTQ rights, which they oppose on religious grounds. Kroger officials said the pin, which is mostly dark blue but also contains yellow, red and light blue elements, was meant to reflect the chain’s promise to provide excellent service to customers in four key areas.
Rickerd and Lawson, who worked at a Kroger store in Conway, Ark., sued after they were fired for refusing to wear the pins. Their lawsuit was supported by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
As part of the settlement, Kroger has agreed to pay the women $70,000 each in back wages. NBC News reported that the chain will also devise a policy on religious accommodations and offer store managers enhanced training in the area.