Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sometimes I swear people are just begging to get sued

Now, let me preface this by stating I think the hijab is a bad thing. I view it as a symbol of oppression towards women and alot of what I don't like about fundamentalist (Muslim or otherwise). I don't like it when its worn by Muslim women, or when its cousin is worn by orthodox Jewish women.

That being said, I have to ask whether Hollister Co. just wanted to get sued. Apparently they hired a religious Muslim woman to work at one of their stores in the Hillsdale Shopping Mall, not too far from San Francisco. According to her, she went to the interview wearing the hijab, as she always does, and even asked them if it was a problem. When she was hired, she was told that it was not a problem as long as the colors were acceptable.

Well, apparently someone did not get the memo. And she was fired earlier this week.

What's even more astonishing to me is the report that a Human Resources person was involved in the phone conference that lead to her firing. Did anyone bother to take a look at a some little documents, like the Constitution of the United States (that would be the First Amendment)? Or perhaps Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Perhaps they couldn't be bothered to look at the EEOC website where it talks about how employers have a duty to reasonably accommodate their employees religious beliefs.

People, this is not rocket science. Hell, this is common sense stuff, or should be. They fired her for wearing religiously required piece of clothing. The equivalent would be firing a Jew for wearing yarmulke, a Moromon for wearing Mormon underwear, or a Sikh for wearing the turban.

Now, before someone asks, reasonable accommodations doe snot mean that an employee gets to do whatever they want. In this case, it would have meant letting her wear the hijab since it would not be a great imposition on the company do so. Conversely it does not mean that she would be allowed to use the company time or location for the purpose of proselytizing.

Now CAIR is going to get up in arms and have their soapbox issue to say how evil we all are. Hell people, think before you fire something for something like this.


Colby said...

I would think that even someone without a background in HR would know they were making a mistake. I would be wrong. Clearly.

AngryBell said...

And to have an HR person there.... I am just astonished at how bad a mistake it seems was made there. Someone, the HR person for sure, should have said "wait!!!! lets talk to legal first."

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

A head scarf is not inline with the look policy of Abercrombie and Fitch (owner of Hollister). Just because it is someone's religion doesn't mean they can do whatever they want...

AngryBell said...

It's not the policy. Its the fact that under the law, reasonable accommodation have to be made. A reasonable accommodation is one which would not create undue cost on the employer. In this case, a court will most likely find that the policy as applied (not as created) is discriminatory and a violation of Title VII because they refused to make the accommodation.