(SANTA CLARA AND SAN DIEGO, CA, 5/10/17) -- The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today announced the successful settlement of Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) complaints brought on behalf of several Muslim women and girls and a Sikh man who were denied access to Go-Karts at Palace Entertainment’s Boomers! Parks (Boomers!) in California.
The complainants alleged that they were permitted entry to Boomers! locations, but then denied access to the Go-Kart rides after employees cited safety concerns.
In 2014 and 2015, CAIR-CA filed DFEH complaints on their behalf and worked to resolve the issue by addressing the park's safety concerns and the clients' civil rights and public accommodations concerns.
The complaints challenged a policy that said “no headwear” could be worn on the Go-Karts at Boomers! operated by Palace Entertainment. The complainants alleged they visited the park and were denied access to the Go-Kart because they refused to remove their religious hijab or turban.
Last week the parties agreed to:
- Accommodations which will address safety concerns and enable individuals to wear a religious hijab or turban on the Go-Karts. Palace Entertainment will now allow customers wearing securely wrapped hijabs and Sikh turbans to ride the Go-Karts.
- Palace Entertainment will also pay $4,000 in compensation to each of the individuals listed in the complaints turned away from its Go-Karts, totaling $32,000.
- Require anti-discrimination and sensitivity training for its California employees for five years and in order to ensure uniform application of the new policies it will hire a neutral third-party to monitor the implementation of the policy changes for 18 months.
“We welcome the successful settlement of our complaint with Palace Entertainment and hope that those who wear hijabs and turbans will be able to enjoy equal access to the Go-Karts just as every other patron of Palace Entertainment Parks,” said CAIR-SFBA Civil Rights Attorney Brittney Rezaei.
"As a result of the efforts by all parties, we were able to come to a satisfying outcome that does not force the people of this state to choose between their faith and having some fun with their friends and family at amusement parks," said CAIR-San Diego's Civil Rights Attorney, Susanne Arani.
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-San Diego Executive Director, Hanif Mohebi, firstname.lastname@example.org, 858-278-4547; CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Civil Rights Attorney, Brittney Rezaei, 408-986-9874, email@example.com; CAIR-San Diego Civil Rights Attorney, Susanne Arani, 858-430-6768, firstname.lastname@example.org