Some Muslim workers at Sky Harbor will be allowed to wear a modified uniform to accommodate their need for modest attire, a civil liberties group said on Tuesday.
Before the change, janitorial contractor GCA Services Group, Inc., had a mandatory dress code that required employees to wear pants and a tucked-in shirt.
After talks between the airport, workers, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Somali Associations of Arizona and the contractor, the groups agreed on different attire for Muslim workers: a black skirt, apron and Islamic head scarf or hijab.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also signed off on the deal, according to CAIR-AZ, the local branch if the civil liberties group.
The change impacts about 30 Muslim airport workers, CAIR-AZ officials say.
It's the first time in recent memory that the airport has made such an accommodation for a religious group, but it's not an unusual workplace issue for the city of Phoenix, said Deborah Ostreicher, deputy aviation director at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The city runs the airport.
"As a city with 14,000 employees, I'm sure these types of issues come up because we are very proud of the diverse population that we have making up our city employees," she said. (MORE)