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Philly firm bans Muslim scarf, earns religious bias lawsuit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Imperial Security, a Philadelphia-area security firm that provides guards for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other locations in the city, faces a religious discrimination lawsuit after it refused to allow a Muslim woman to wear a khimar, a religious head scarf, on the job.

Imperial has a policy of not allowing any addition to the company uniform, even for religious purposes.

Julie Holloway-Russell, who is a Muslim, wore her khimar during her job interview and on her first day on the job. When her supervisor told her to remove the head covering, she refused and left for the day.

Holloway-Russell says she called in the next day to get her assignment and discuss the khimar. She was told she could wear a company baseball cap. She declined and filed a complaint with the EEOC.

Note: Title VII requires employers to explore possible religious accommodations and adopt them unless the employer has a sound business-related reason for refusing.

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