(DALLAS, TEXAS, 1/2/20) – The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concerns and said it will offer diversity training for staff and managers of a Chicken Express restaurant that initially banned a Muslim worker from wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.
CAIR-DFW said the Muslim worker reported that she was denied her legally-mandated religious accommodation by her manager who said that the hijab violated the company dress code. The worker was sent home when she refused to remove her hijab. The worker also had her religious conversion to Islam questioned by other employees and the manager.
SEE: An employee at Chicken Express was sent home for refusing to take off her hijab (CNN)
Muslim Fast Food Worker Says Boss Sent Her Home for Turning Up to Work in Hijab
On December 31, 2019, the store owner asked her to return to work. After briefly returning to work she felt unwelcome by the other employees and left.
An attorney for the restaurant wrote in part:
“The manager's decision to send [the worker] home for wearing the headscarf was due to a lack of training. The manager was using a strict interpretation of the company policy that does not allow derivations from the standard employee uniform, and he unfortunately did not take religious liberty into consideration. . .The Chicken Express franchisee is addressing this issue through additional training. . .The manager has been reprimanded for his decision, and he will receive further training on how to properly handle similar situations in the future.”
“We are concerned whenever any worker is denied her or his constitutionally-protected religious rights in the workplace,” said CAIR-DFW Executive Director Faizan Syed. “We hope to work with Chicken Express to ensure that this type of incident does not reoccur.”
Syed offered to provide the diversity training for the restaurant staff.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.