Wednesday 27th of October 2021
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Muslim Woman Files Complaint over Head-scarf Firing

Muslim Woman Files Complaint over Head-scarf Firing

-- A Muslim college student has lodged a complaint with federal officials after she said she was fired from her job at a San Mateo clothing store for refusing to remove her hijab, or head scarf.

Hani Khan, 19, of Foster City said was terminated from her job Monday at the Hollister clothing store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Her firing came a week after a district manager visited the store, called her into a meeting and said she was not supposed to wear the scarf while at work, said Khan, who is of Indian and Pakistani descent.


A representative from human resources joined the meeting by phone, and Khan said she was told that she was in violation of the store's "look policy."


"I thought it was quite unfair," Khan said in an interview Wednesday. "It was really surprising, especially in the Bay Area, because everybody's so open-minded and accepting of everybody. It's really surprising to see blatant discrimination against someone who is of an Islamic state who is wearing a hijab."


Khan contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim advocacy group. On Tuesday, the organization filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Abercrombie & Fitch, which operates Hollister stores.


Khan, a political science student at the College of San Mateo, said she wore her hijab to her job interview before she was hired as a part-time stockroom worker in October. She said her direct supervisors had no problem with her headwear, so long as they were of the company's colors: navy, gray and white, which she said she did.


CAIR spokeswoman Zahra Billoo said it was "unconscionable" for Abercrombie & Fitch to treat Khan this way. "Firing someone explicitly for a religious reason or practice is, in our view, against the law," Billoo said.


In September, the EEOC filed a civil suit against Abercrombie & Fitch for allegedly discriminating against a 17-year-old Muslim in Oklahoma by refusing to hire her because she wore a hijab. The case is pending.


Source: sfgate.com

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