Muslim Woman Sues Des Moines Convenience Store Over Religious Discrimination

March 6, 2006

Source: Des Moines Register

Wire Service: AP

On March 6, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "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 hijib, 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. Officials say company policy prohibits employees from wearing caps, scarves or anything on their head."