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Hijab on the Job: Downtown Disney Employee Claims Discrimination

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A head scarf on a mannequin (Photo by Paul Keller via Flickr)

A head scarf on a mannequin (Photo by Paul Keller via Flickr)
A restaurant hostess at the Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel in Downtown Disney is preparing to file suit against Disney, accusing the entertainment biz powerhouse of discrimination because she has not been permitted to wear her Muslim head scarf in view of the public at work, reports the OC Register.Imane Boudlal, a practicing Muslim, "said she was sent home without pay three times when she attempted to report to work wearing a hijab since Aug. 15." Boudlal claims that she was told she could only work out of view of the public with her head scarf on. “The Constitution tells me I can be Muslim, and I can wear the head scarf. Who is Disney to tell me I cannot?” said Boudlal in a press conference today.

In response, Disneyland Resort spokesowoman Suzi Brown said that Boudlal was offered "reasonable accommodation" to wear her hijab on the job, and "denied that the company discriminated against Boudlal." Brown added that Disney "values diversity and has a long-standing policy against discrimination of any kind.”

"Disney is known for its strict dress code, called the Disney Look, which has been in place since 1957," adds the Register. Boudlal says she opted to wear the hijab to work after reading about her rights during the process of her becoming a US Citizen. She is planning "to file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission."

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