Company: No discrimination over religious objection to pants

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 failed to "reasonably accommodate" the beliefs of Kaetoya Watkins, who told a Georgia Blue manager that her religion prohibits her from wearing pants.

The lawsuit says Watkins received no response but was fired when she went to work in November 2015 wearing a denim skirt.