Muslim Housekeeper Fired for Wearing Head Scarf--Wins Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement
December 21, 2009
In recent news, our California Employment Lawyers have been reading about the $43,000 settlement between Ivy Hall Assisted Living, and Khandija Ahdaouri, a Muslim housekeeper. In the religious discrimination lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of Ahdaouri, Ivy Hall Assisted Living was accused of discrimination, by forcing her to remove her head scarf, or hijab, while she worked, as a condition of her continued employment.
According to the suit, Ivy Hall Assisted Living discriminated against the housekeeper by not accommodating her religious beliefs--the mandatory wearing of a hijab, a Muslim head scarf outside her home. Ahdaouri was allegedly asked to remove the scarf, having to choose between her religion and her employment. After choosing to wear the scarf at work, Ahdaouri's employment was wrongfully terminated--a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--where under law, employers must accommodate applicants' and employees' religious beliefs in all aspects of employment.
The EEOC states that no employee should have to make the choice between their religious beliefs and their job. Unless it would be an undue hardship for the company, and the operation of its business, an employer must lawfully accommodate an employee's religious practices and sincere beliefs, such as wearing a head scarf or other religious attire, certain hairstyles, or facial hair.
According to the consent decree that settled the suit, along with $43,000 in monetary relief, the assisted living home must take the necessary steps for equal opportunity training, post a notice of anti-discrimination, and report any future complaints of discrimination. In the consent decree and the lawsuit, Ivy Hall denied all liability and allegations of wrongdoing.
If you have suffered religious discrimination in your Orange County or Southern California workplace, contact Howard Law, PC today. Our Anaheim-based Labor and Employment Lawyers are dedicated to finding a solution that is right for your labor or employment issue. For a free consultation, call 1-800-872-5925.
Ivy Hall Assisted Living Pays $34,000 to Settle Religious Discrimination Lawsuit, EEOC Press Release, December 18, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC): Religious Discrimination