Two Muslim women say the manager of a McDonald's restaurant refused to hire them and insulted them during job interviews because they wear traditional Islamic dress.
Toi Whitfield, 20, of Detroit, and Quiana Pugh, 25, of Dearborn, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court against McDonald's, the owner of the local franchise and its unnamed manager. Their representative said they are considering filing civil rights complaints with the federal and state governments.
"I applied for the McDonald's position maybe two weeks ago and he simply (told me) I had to make a choice and remove my hijab, or I would not be able to establish employment there," Pugh said. "When I walked away, I was definitely hurt by it and disturbed. I was confused that it could happen here in Dearborn, with so many Muslims." . . .
McDonald's publishes a corporate handbook with a chapter titled "Our Commitment to Employees," which says that the world's largest fast food chain forbids discrimination in employment. . .
The restaurant in question sits amid one of the largest concentrations of commercial businesses for Arab-Americans in the country. Like many of the national chain fast-food establishments in the area, it has long served some halal food, which conforms to Muslim dietary requirements. . .
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan, said that he has eaten at McDonald's restaurants in Turkey that cater to Muslims and employ them, including numerous women who cover.
"It is extremely disturbing that such discrimination could take place at a location which does not mind collecting Muslim dollars, yet places restriction on Muslim women who wear hijab." (MORE)