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Muslim says hijab cost her McDonald's job

April 14, 2010 at 4:47 PM

DETROIT, April 14 (UPI) -- A Muslim woman in Michigan says she was turned down for a job at McDonald's because she wears a headscarf or hijab.

Nasihah Barlaskar, 19, the daughter of immigrants from Bangladesh, has filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Detroit Free Press reported. She alleges she failed to get a job at a McDonald's restaurant in Rochester Hills because of religious bias.

In an interview with the newspaper, Barlaskar said a manager asked her during a March 27 interview whether she was required to wear "that thing," referring to her headscarf. She said she responded: "I do. Is that a problem?"

The manager told her she would not be able to wear the hijab on the job, she said.

Another case of alleged discrimination is expected to go to trial soon in Detroit, lawyer Nahib Ayad says. Two women said in 2008 they were turned down by a McDonald's in Dearborn because of their headscarves.

Joan Rachelson, director of operations for McDonald's in Michigan, said the company has an anti-discrimination policy.

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