Muslim woman denied job for scarf sues

A Muslim woman who claims she was denied employment after she refused to remove a head scarf worn for religious reasons is accusing a Des Moines convenience store chain of violating her religious rights. In the lawsuit, Aaliyah Withers-Johnson claims officials at Git-N-Go Convenience Stores Inc. told her she could not work for the company if she insisted on wearing the head scarf, known as a hijab, worn as part of her Islamic faith. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, accuses the company of racial and religious discrimination.

Withers-Johnson, who also is black, claims she wore the scarf to her initial job interview for a position as a store clerk on March 11, 2005, was offered a position and told to report six days later for training. But at the training session, Withers-Johnson claims she was immediately pulled aside by a company official and told she would not be able to start ‘”because of the thing you are wearing on your head,’” the lawsuit said.

Des Moines Register, 6 March 2006