Fired scarf-wearing Muslim alleges abuse

Feb. 10, 2011 at 9:24 AM

TORONTO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A Toronto-area Muslim esthetician who wears a hijab headscarf is alleging religious discrimination after she was fired from her job at a salon.

Mehwish Ali, 22, told the Toronto Star she wore a hijab to her job interview with Trade Secrets salon in Markham, northeast of Toronto, and was hired to do facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing six weeks ago.

Ali told the newspaper franchise co-owner Mylene Facchini confronted her Monday afternoon and told her the scarf had to go.

"Her exact words were, 'we don't promote scarves here, we promote hair.' She said, 'before you start work today, get rid of that thing off your head.'"

Ali said she was shocked and went home. The next day, she got an e-mail saying she had been terminated because of "productivity, contribution and lack of initiative," the Star said.

Facchini's husband and franchise co-owner, Robert, told the Star Ali's allegations of religious discrimination were unfounded.

"There is no documented proof, there are no documented comments from me that say anything to the kind," he said.

Ali sought counsel from the Human Rights Legal Support Center, which had no comment, the report said.

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