- Business and Employment»
- Human Resources (HR)
Muslim Employee Sues Disney
Some co-workers called her a terrorist, a camel, and someone who makes bombs in a mosque, while working at Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel. While she was born in Morocco and is a Muslim, she is a 24 yr.old U.S. citizen. She began working in 2008 and endured the remarks of a few and finally complained to her manager that did nothing. Then, she started wearing the traditional hijab head scarf. This was not until 2010. She contacted Disney's HR for an exemption based on religious belief. However, Disney indicated that the hijab does not fit their image. To accommodate, Disney, then created a hijab for her and told her to get corporate approval for wearing it. But, with Ramadan nearing, Boudlal, decided to wear her own hijab and when she did, she was told to remove it, cover it up while in public or work in a position NOT in public view. She refused. She was fired. She now has a lawsuit with the EEOC for infringement of her religious beliefs.
Does Disney have the right to fire her because she did not comply with company policy AFTER the company gave her three options to accommodate her hijab? It seems so. After all, a company's image is important and if her religious beliefs were so important, wearing the hijab in a job away from public view should be fine as long as pay and hours are unchanged. Mixing religious beliefs and customs and political correctness has mostly stayed separated in America, not so in Muslim countries. Had Disney not offered several options, even created a special hijab for her to wear, then, I would say her lawsuit has merit. The opposite is true. She chose her religion over work. And, why did she not wear the hijab in 2008 when she first hired? What, she suddenly became a devout Muslim or radicalized to challenge American law? The latter is probably true. And, if the Court rules in her favor, what happen to the rights of the employer to present an image they want? Yet, oddly, even in Morocco, the headscarf is not encouraged by governmental institutions, and generally frowned upon by urban middle and higher classes but it is not forbidden by law!
Seems like many of our freedoms are becoming diluted. One person's rights or freedom impinges on another person's. Freedom gets murkier and murkier.