Imane Boudlal filed suit in August against the Walt Disney Company, alleging religious discrimination because the company refused to allow her to wear a hijab, a Muslim head scarf, while at work. Ms. Boudlal, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Morocco was hired as a hostess at a café in the theme park. Ms. Boudlal reports that she offered to wear a head scarf which matched the color of her uniform or one with the Disney logo on it. The company countered by offering her the alternatives of wearing a hat over the hijab, wearing a specially designed uniform or working in the back of the café. Ms. Boudlal refused all of these options, was removed from her position as a hostess and ultimately fired.
A new law that came into effect with the New Year now offers employees like Ms. Boudlal full protection for wearing religious garb to work. Under the law, religious garb, including head coverings, facial hair, facial coverings and other accoutrements of religious expression is protected under state anti-discrimination laws. The law also forbids companies from segregating employees from others as a form of reasonable accommodation for their religious beliefs.
If you have been the victim of religious harassment at work, you may be entitled to sue for legal damages. The law does not allow employers to discriminate against you based on your religious beliefs, unless it would pose an undue hardship to the company to accommodate you. It is important to obtain the services of knowledgeable and aggressive employment law attorney to help you prosecute your case so that your rights are fully protected.