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Gerry Clinchy
08-22-2010, 10:41 AM
Stumbled across an article on msn yesterday. Couldn't get a link because it was a video that was among a series of videos.

A female Muslim employee of Disneyworld, who acts in a "hostess-type" capacity. Has been employed by them for two years. During that time she abided by her employer's "dress code" that she could not wear her head scarf while working.

Then she became a US citizen and is now suing Disney because they will not allow her to wear her head scarf on her job. Disney has offered her alternative positions that do not require her to deal with the public in a hostess capacity, but she has refused that alternative.

Her contention is that not allowing her to wear her a head scarf (in the video a plain, white scarf not incompatible with her "uniform") interferes with her right to express her religious beliefs.

Personally, I don't think that her head scarf is a problem for me, and some Disney visitors felt that way; although some felt requiring a "dress code" for employees was legitimate.

Several issues here ... does the dress code also preclude wearing insignia like a cross or Star of David (which might be jewelry if there is a specific uniform for employee for clothing aside from jewelry). Would she be permitted to wear a piece of jewelry that was akin to a cross? It would appear that the employer has to be consistent in their application of their dress requirements & might also extend that to jewelry ... to remain religion-neutral.

What if she wanted to wear a burka? Why did she not mind forsaking her head scarf for the previous 2 years in order to hold her job?

What if other employees were then allowed to wear an armband with a cross or Star of David (I'm only mentioning the more prevalent religious groups for simplicity).

Would it be appropriate for all employees to wear religious insignia? Would the employer be compelled to modify their dress code to accommodate other religious beliefs?

Since the employee was aware of the dress code (presumably) when she accepted the position, could the issue be relegated to her personal choice to accept the employer's dress requirements when accepting employment?

My basic thought, from a legal point of view, is that the employer would have the right to prohibit all religious insignia for their "public" positions, but would have to apply that to all religious groups consistently. IMO, the head scarf is an "insignia", since it is the modernistic version of the modesty coverings associated with the Muslim faith. Feel free to disagree with that perception.

Ken Bora
08-22-2010, 11:08 AM
Don’t private businesses have the right to set uniform appearances for employees?
I “gear up” for work but if I dress in my work gear while walking down the street folk think I am the stay puff marshmallow man.
Lots of folk look different at work than on their own time. Girls who give lap dances and Cops are two good examples.
She does not have to work there.



.

YardleyLabs
08-22-2010, 11:49 AM
Don’t private businesses have the right to set uniform appearances for employees?
I “gear up” for work but if I dress in my work gear while walking down the street folk think I am the stay puff marshmallow man.
Lots of folk look different at work than on their own time. Girls who give lap dances and Cops are two good examples.
She does not have to work there.



.
They may set dress code requirements. However, if those dress code requirements are discriminatory based on religion, they may end up being sued. At that point they would have to show why those requirements were established and present a business case. France is a country going through some of this now. They began by outlawing head scarves in public schools. As that was criticized, the ended up outlawing all "conspicuous" signs of religion in public schools, including crosses and Stars of David worn as jewelry. I'm not sure that we as a country want to start down that rocky road.

subroc
08-22-2010, 11:56 AM
the fact that she accepted the conditions orinally and now changes her mind leaves her position in doubt.

WRL
08-22-2010, 12:14 PM
I agree that a head scarf would be akin to wearing a Star of David armband.

However, if she had some Muslim jewelry such as earings or a "small necklace" I would think that would be acceptable.

Something that is super conspicuous and basically "flaunted" should be unacceptable in a company that requires a dress code.

I've worked for several companies where the outside sales staff had to wear "suits" or business attire but the office staff was allowed to dress casual. It comes with the job.

I've seen lots of companies lately that have people that are tatted up (or sleeved) cover their tattoos.

Its all a matter of public perception and what the company wants its image to be.

If you work for me, you will project the image I want as you represent MY company. If you can't do that, go elsewhere.

WRL

kb27_99
08-22-2010, 12:46 PM
- Let her sue
- Let her lose
-Now let her go back to her own country and wear all the damn scarfs she wants!

dnf777
08-22-2010, 12:58 PM
If you work for me, you will project the image I want as you represent MY company. If you can't do that, go elsewhere.

WRL

Does that mean belly dancing in a g-string? :D

Seriously, I agree. Its not a freedom of religion issue, its an employers dress code/ image issue. If I wore camo, duckboots and a mega whistle to the hospital, I would be fired in short order. Same principle. If they let folks wear cross or star necklaces, they she must be able to wear the cresent necklace.........but not necessarily an entire wardrobe of her choosing!

The sad part is, as someone mentioned, let her sue, let her lose...but that will carry a HUGE legal cost to the company....often prohibitive for smaller operations.

road kill
08-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Does that mean belly dancing in a g-string? :D

Seriously, I agree. Its not a freedom of religion issue, its an employers dress code/ image issue. If I wore camo, duckboots and a mega whistle to the hospital, I would be fired in short order. Same principle. If they let folks wear cross or star necklaces, they she must be able to wear the cresent necklace.........but not necessarily an entire wardrobe of her choosing!

The sad part is, as someone mentioned, let her sue, let her lose...but that will carry a HUGE legal cost to the company....often prohibitive for smaller operations.
My daughter worked at Disney World in FL.

The dress code is ridgid.
It is also something that you must agree to in writing before you start.

She hasn't got a prayer (no pun intended ;-))!!



RK

BonMallari
08-22-2010, 01:10 PM
My daughter worked at Disney World in FL.

The dress code is ridgid.
It is also something that you must agree to in writing before you start.

She hasn't got a prayer (no pun intended ;-))!!



RK

Rigid is an understatement, I worked for Knotts Berry Farm throughout HS and the first two years of college and we adopted Disney's dress code...it was strict and has withstood challenges for decades..She is considered in character when appearing in the public eye...We even had to get permission to allow the Rose Bowl Queen and her court to apply a rose sticker on our lapels the week before the game...she will lose along with whoever has an agenda and backing her play

subroc
08-22-2010, 01:42 PM
Does that mean belly dancing in a g-string? :D



If you get hired as a belly dancer in a g-string you will be expeced to "wear your uniform"

Franco
08-23-2010, 10:24 AM
- Let her sue
- Let her lose
-Now let her go back to her own country and wear all the damn scarfs she wants!

Bingo. Make her return with her entire clan!

WE should have ZERO tolerence in the USA for Muslims who want laws above what is already provided to them! In fact, until we get terrorism under control, we should discriminate against them wanting US citizenship and ban all Muslims from entering the USA!

Julie R.
08-23-2010, 11:53 AM
I heard this on the news recently and it just made my blood boil. For those that missed it, here's a link I found to a USA Today news story on it
http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2010/08/muslim-woman-disneyland-hotel-hijab/108827/1

I hope she sues and loses, but in today's PC-gone-wild climate, chances are good Disney will end up settling out of court and payign her a huge sum, and that's just WRONG. It reminds me of the group of Somali Moslims that sued their employer, a hot dog meat packing plant in St. Cloud, Minn., over their religious right not to handle pork. These same pure of intent, devout Moslims http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/SARCASM.gif had even signed an agreement beforehand about their terms of employment that clearly spelled out they would be handling pork: HELLO, it's a hot dog factory! Yet they were successfully awarded something like $320,000 in the suit. What's next?

Gerry Clinchy
08-23-2010, 12:10 PM
Yet they were successfully awarded something like $320,000 in the suit. What's next?

So, once they got the money did they stay on the job or leave for another job? That might indicate how devout they were :-)

Terri
08-23-2010, 04:35 PM
Bingo. Make her return with her entire clan!

WE should have ZERO tolerence in the USA for Muslims who want laws above what is already provided to them! In fact, until we get terrorism under control, we should discriminate against them wanting US citizenship and ban all Muslims from entering the USA!

How do we figure out who is Muslim and who is not? The American people can't even agree on the religion of our president.

Terri

YardleyLabs
08-23-2010, 05:10 PM
The St Cloud case is interesting. The case concerned two issues. First, job applicants looking to work in a poultry processing plant were asked to sign a statement in advance that they were willing to handle pork products. This was done by an employment agency under contract with Gold'n Plump Poultry. Anyone who refused to sign the agreement was not hired although handling pork was apparently not required for the job (They only processed poultry). The second issue related to prayer in the workplace. Workers were being terminated or threatened with termination for praying during the work day and also threatened with termination if the filed complaints. In the settlement, it was agreed that workers seeking jobs at the poultry processing plant would no longer be asked to sign the "pork acknowledgment" form. It was also agreed that workers could pray during their normal breaks and that an additional short break would be added to the afternoon shift for all workers. It was noted that the amount of time required for prayer was comparable to that of a bathroom break, which employees were permitted. However, they settled on the additional break in the afternoon by mutual agreement during the mediation.

See http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-12-08.cfm and http://www.startribune.com/business/28119524.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD 3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUs for example.

EDIT: BTW, as an employer, I was required to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of all my employees. Thus, I made arrangements to give off Good Friday and time off of mass on Ash Wednesday where requested by Christian employees. For Orthodox Jewish employees, I arranged work schedule so that they could be home before sun down on Fridays to conform with Sabbath requirements, as well as providing adjustments to allow them to use vacation time and to shift schedules to allow time off during major religious holidays. There is nothing unusual about making such accommodations.

Franco
08-23-2010, 09:33 PM
How do we figure out who is Muslim and who is not? The American people can't even agree on the religion of our president.

Terri

Easy to profile. Beards wearing pajamas is a dead give-a-way. ;-)

dnf777
08-24-2010, 04:54 AM
Easy to profile. Beards wearing pajamas is a dead give-a-way. ;-)

Just don't confuse them with pedophiles wearing bathrobes.

Nor_Cal_Angler
08-24-2010, 09:32 AM
Just don't confuse them with pedophiles wearing bathrobes.

well, damn-it they can go TOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gerry Clinchy
08-24-2010, 11:59 AM
EDIT: BTW, as an employer, I was required to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of all my employees. Thus, I made arrangements to give off Good Friday and time off of mass on Ash Wednesday where requested by Christian employees. For Orthodox Jewish employees, I arranged work schedule so that they could be home before sun down on Fridays to conform with Sabbath requirements, as well as providing adjustments to allow them to use vacation time and to shift schedules to allow time off during major religious holidays. There is nothing unusual about making such accommodations.

This seems perfectly reasonable, Jeff. Nothing to argue with there. However, if your business is making hot dogs that contain pork ... does it require that the company change its business plan to accommodate any religion. After all, an orthodox Jew also has a pork prohibition. I'd be guessing, but my guess would be that we have more Jews than Muslims in the US ... yet this has only become an issue now? Or I could be mistaken on this last point?

I can understand the break time (when applied to all workers equally) ... but it would also seem fair to let an applicant know in advance that his job would involve handling pork. If his conscience would not allow him/her to do that, then they would have to look for a different job, even within the same company (if they were qualified for another job).

Terri
08-24-2010, 11:26 PM
Easy to profile. Beards wearing pajamas is a dead give-a-way. ;-)

Sorry to inform you that you miss 90% of Muslims in the west with your profiling.


Terri

M&K's Retrievers
08-25-2010, 12:04 AM
[B...she will lose along with whoever has an agenda and backing her play

She/they have already won by bringing attention to this BS.

YardleyLabs
08-25-2010, 03:16 AM
This seems perfectly reasonable, Jeff. Nothing to argue with there. However, if your business is making hot dogs that contain pork ... does it require that the company change its business plan to accommodate any religion. After all, an orthodox Jew also has a pork prohibition. I'd be guessing, but my guess would be that we have more Jews than Muslims in the US ... yet this has only become an issue now? Or I could be mistaken on this last point?

I can understand the break time (when applied to all workers equally) ... but it would also seem fair to let an applicant know in advance that his job would involve handling pork. If his conscience would not allow him/her to do that, then they would have to look for a different job, even within the same company (if they were qualified for another job).
Actually, you would have no difficulty with such a requirement if your business were as a pork processor any more than there would be a problem with dress code if you were hiring a topless dancer. The problem only arose in the Minnesota case because the employer's agent was requiring job applicants to agree to handle pork when the business of the employer only involves handling chicken. No orthodox Jew would work for a pork processor, any more than a Hasidic Jewish woman would work in a place where she could not dress modestly and wear a wig or other suitable head covering. However, if I am running a computer programming business and a Hasidic Jewish man shows up to apply for a job, I will be in trouble if I demand first that he agree not to wear his traditional clothing.

I have had several Hasidic employees, and they have been the most difficult to accommodate in my experience, primarily because their schedule of religious holidays makes it almost impossible to work a full year unless they are allowed to work from home. As a business operator, I was required to make reasonable accommodations. I was not required to let people work from home or work completely outside of normal business hours when supervision and interaction with other team members would be impossible. That is one of the reasons that you are likely to find most Hasidim working in businesses owned by other Hasidim. If you are shopping for camera equipment, you will learn quickly that B&H Photo simply closes down for major holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Succos, which effectively makes them closed for half of September.

Atheists and Hindus have been the easiest to accommodate.;-)

YardleyLabs
08-25-2010, 05:59 AM
How many different religions can business's be expected to make adjustments for? Easier to just get rid of all of them and have people come to work? As a business owner, I've worked all the holidays and it never bothered me, but I'm not a very religious guy. And with me it was just the simple act of working. Not the added burden of dress codes and food to be handled, or whatever else someones religion may not want them to do.
Walt
There are lots of things that a good employer tries to accommodate within reasonable limits: an employee who is ill, people who keep thinking that vacations and holidays mean they don't have to come into work, sick children, doctor's appointments, and so forth. It would be nice to never have to deal with any of that. Unfortunately, employees just want more, more and more. Now, if only I could get them to agree not to be paid.....;-);-)

Religious issues are no harder to deal with than anything else. My approach was simple. I gave seven paid holidays as required by law, four personal days, 10-15 vacation days, and five sick days. If a person had specific personal or religious requirements, I was willing to work with them as long as the total time off taken did not exceed what our policy allowed and did not interfere with the business schedule. A few conflicts would arise over time, but religious needs were seldom the source.