Nursing assistant sues Medical Facilities of America after hijab sack

29th Jun 2018

 

Nadine Osman

 

A Virginia woman is suing a rehab centre which fired her after she started wearing a hijab, following her conversion to Islam.

A lawsuit was filed in Federal Virginia court against the Medical Facilities of America (MFA) operating under the name Hanover Health & Rehabilitation Center on May 5.

Keseanda Brooks converted to Islam after five months on the job as a Certified Nurse Assistant and began wearing the hijab in September 2016.

Despite wearing the hijab for three months without incident, on January 4, 2017, Brooks was informed that she was required to either remove her hijab or be fired. Brooks refused to remove her hijab and was fired as a result.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Legal Defense Fund is representing Brooks and filed suit claiming employment discrimination and retaliation on the basis of her religion.

“No one should ever have to choose between practising their faith and their job,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Hanover was legally required to accommodate Ms. Brooks by allowing her to wear her hijab. Instead, Hanover violated clearly established federal law when it fired Ms. Brooks for refusing to compromise her faith.”

“Our laws protect women who choose to wear religious attire, and no employer should be allowed to force a woman to remove religious articles of clothing against her will,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Ahmed Mohamed.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as President.

The Washington-based organisation’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

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