Woman: UPS fired me because I'm Muslim

Sept. 9, 2008 at 11:37 AM
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TORONTO, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A Muslim Canadian woman claims she lost her job scanning boxes at United Parcel Service Inc. because she refused to hike up her long skirt to her knees.

Nadifo Yusuf, 35, told the Canadian Human Rights Commission she had worked at the Toronto delivery plant as a temporary employee for two years wearing a traditional hijab, headscarf and skirt with no problem -- even tucking in her hijab and raising her skirt to mid-calf for safety reasons.

But around April 2005, when her job was changed to a full-time unionized position, she was told to hike her skirt to knee-length or face losing her job for safety reasons, The Toronto Star reported.

"I was working two years and I became unsafe?" she testified before the tribunal.

She and five other Muslim women provided UPS with a letter from a Toronto mosque stating that "the religion of Islam requires all Muslim women to cover her entire body inclusive of the legs, arms, head, ears and neck."

UPS then asked Liberty Mutual Underwriters Canada to conduct a job hazard analysis and risk assessment. Liberty concluded that "for health and safety reasons" workers' skirts should not be longer than knee-length.

Yusuf and seven other Muslim women were fired July 13, 2005.

The women filed a complaint with the commission alleging UPS discriminated against them because of their religion and sex.

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