Muslim fired for having a beard

A Muslim was sacked on the first day of a new job at a phone shop because of his beard.

Shahid Saleem, 21, from Croydon, has a beard for religious reasons and is now seeking legal advice after the discrimination he faced at Vodafone in Sutton High Street.

Mr Saleem turned up at the store on September 9, 2011 after being placed there by the recruitment agency, Adecco. He was taken to a room at the back of the store by the manager and told he could not work there because he had a beard.

Mr Saleem asked to see the dress code to see whether Vodafone had an official policy which requires a worker to be clean shaven. However, his request was refused and he claimed he was escorted to the door and told to speak to his job agency.

Mr Saleem said: “Throughout the whole time [the store manager] was talking to me, he spoke to me condescendingly in public in front of a Vodafone employee, which completely demoralised and upset me as well as causing me distress.

“He did not mention anything at all about my clothes; he only stated that he did not want me working with him if I had a beard. What [the store manager] did was blatant discrimination, and discrimination is this country is illegal, especially in regards to the work place.”

Croydon Guardian, 29 March 2012