Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
390 F.3d 126 (1st Cir. 2004)


Facts

In 1997, Kimberly Cloutier (plaintiff) was hired by Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) (defendant). At the time, Cloutier had multiple ear piercings and tattoos. Over the next few years, Cloutier engaged in more body modifications, including facial piercings. In March 2001, Costco revised its dress code to prohibit all facial jewelry with the sole exception of earrings. Cloutier nevertheless continued to wear her eyebrow piercing. On June 25, 2001, Costco informed Cloutier that she needed to remove her eyebrow piercing. Cloutier refused and claimed that she was required to wear the piercing as a member of the Church of Body Modification. Costco offered to allow Cloutier to continue working if she temporarily covered the piercing with a band-aid or replaced the jewelry with a clear plastic retainer. Cloutier refused, claiming that her religion required her to visibly wear her facial jewelry at all times. Costco ultimately terminated Cloutier’s employment based on her refusal to comply with the dress code. Cloutier sued Costco under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., arguing that Costco had failed to accommodate her religious beliefs. The district court found that Costco had offered a reasonable accommodation to Cloutier when Costco requested that Cloutier cover her facial jewelry with a band-aid or wear a clear retainer and, therefore, had not failed to accommodate her under Title VII. Cloutier appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Lipez, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.