Press Releases

CAIR: EEOC Complaint Filed Against Mich. McDonald’s Over Hijab

(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 4/13/10) ­- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against a McDonald’s restaurant in that state on behalf of a Muslim who alleges denial of employment based on her ethnicity and religion.
The Muslim job applicant reported to CAIR-MI that she recently applied for employment at a McDonald’s restaurant in Rochester Hills, Mich. During the interview, she alleges that one of the restaurant managers asked about her nationality and ethnicity and informed her that wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, would be a problem.
The applicant contacted the manager within a week after the interview to inquire about possible employment and was informed that someone else was selected for the position. {NOTE: The restaurant is in close proximity to one of the largest mosques in the state of Michigan.]
“We urge McDonald’s to take immediate action to bring its hiring policies into compliance with long-established legal guidelines on reasonable religious accommodation in the workplace,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
He noted that in 2008, CAIR-MI raised concerns with McDonald’s regarding two similar incidents in which Muslim women alleged being denied employment because of hijab.
SEE: Women Claim McDonald’s Denies Jobs Due to Muslim Headscarves (USA Today)

Walid said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment. The act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee, unless doing so would create an “undue hardship” for the employer.
In 2008, the EEOC issued new guidelines on accommodating religious beliefs and practices in the workplace. The guidelines offer protection for workers who wear religious attire such as hijab.
SEE: New Religious Discrimination Manual Released (USA Today)

CAIR offers a booklet called “An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices” to help corporate managers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.
SEE: An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

CAIR is 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-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail:; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-559-2247, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


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