Press Releases

CAIR Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Virginia Muslim Fired for Wearing Hijab

(WASHINGTON, DC, 6/1/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond, Va., against Hanover Health & Rehabilitation Center on behalf of Keseanda Brooks, an American Muslim who was fired for wearing a hijab, a religious headscarf, in accordance with her religious beliefs.

Brooks was hired by Hanover Health & Rehabilitation Center in 2016 as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). After five months on the job, she converted to Islam and began wearing the hijab in September 2016.  Despite wearing the hijab for three months without incident, on January 4, 2017, Brooks was informed that she was required to either remove her hijab or be fired.  Brooks refused to remove her hijab in accordance with her sincerely-held belief and was fired as a result.

CAIR Legal Defense Fund is representing Brooks and filed suit yesterday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia claiming employment discrimination and retaliation on the basis of her religion.

Read CAIR’s Lawsuit:

“No one should ever have to choose between practicing their faith and their job,” said National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Hanover was legally required to accommodate Ms. Brooks by allowing her to wear her hijab. Instead, Hanover violated clearly established federal law when it fired Ms. Brooks for refusing to compromise her faith.” 

“Our laws protect women who choose to wear religious attire, and no employer should be allowed to force a woman to remove religious articles of clothing against her will,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Ahmed Mohamed.  

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by going to:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR Trial Attorney Ahmed Mohamed, 202-742-6440,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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