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CAIR-FL: Denny’s Franchise Discriminates Against Muslim Employee Over Religious Head Covering

CAIR FLORIDACAIR-Florida files a discrimination charge against the Ocala Denny's restaurant with the EEOC

(OCALA, Fla., 9/30/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR-Florida) has announced that it has filed a religious discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the discriminatory practices of an Ocala Denny's restaurant toward a Muslim former employee, Marlondejuan Guy, by denying him the right to wear a Kufi, or religious head covering.

Guy is a former server at EYM Diner of Florida, LLC, an Ocala-based Denny's franchise restaurant. While employed at Denny's, he was prohibited from working the day shift because he wears a kufi. He was repeatedly advised by his managers that he would be able to work the more lucrative day shift if he took off his kufi. Guy was the only Muslim employee at this Denny's location in Ocala, Fla., and also the only server prohibited from working the day shift.

Throughout his employment, Denny's managers repeatedly asked Guy to take off his religious head covering, advised him that they got in trouble for hiring him in the first place and promised to put him on the day shift if he took off his kufi. When Mr. Guy refused to take off his religious head covering, Denny's Manager gave him a letter threatening his termination, which indicated: It has been brought to my attention that your religious head covering is against the Denny's uniform dress code.

When Mr. Guy, received this note, he immediately filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC. Denny's has since terminated his employment.

“Wearing a Kufi doesn't affect Mr. Guy's ability to perform his job,” said Katherine Heffner, CAIR Florida Civil Rights Staff Attorney. “Denny's discriminated against him, and we are seeking justice for him and his family.”

A video of Guy explaining this situation can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/MrGuy

The Law firm of Morgan & Morgan P.A. is representing the Plaintiff in this matter. His attorney, Michael Hanna, Esq. said: “Based on these allegations, this is clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 and the Supreme Court's recent decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch.  Employers are required to provide reasonable religious accommodations to their employees, and cannot retaliate against their employees for filing discrimination charges with the EEOC. There does not appear to be anything unreasonable in Mr. Guy's request to wear a Kufi, and we will prosecute this claim to the fullest extent of the law.”

CAIR Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Contact: Michael N. Hanna, Esq., Mr. Guy's Attorney

Phone: (954) 318-0268

Email: mhanna@forthepeople.com

Contact: Ali Kurnaz, CAIR Florida Communications Coordinator

Phone: (407) 694-9584

Email: akurnaz@cair.com

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