‘That Head Scarf Thing’: Perceptions—not Intentions—Count Most When it Comes to Insensitive Religious Comments — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

‘That Head Scarf Thing’: Perceptions—not Intentions—Count Most When it Comes to Insensitive Religious Comments

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You’re a tolerant, open-minded person. You’ve hired people of all races and religions, including a woman who wears a head scarf (hijab) in accordance with her religion. But what do say when that woman seeks a promotion to a more visible position? A few unwise words coupled with foot-dragging on the promotion and you’ll be wrapping your head around a religious discrimination lawsuit …

Case in Point: Angela Harper was a 20-year-old African American Muslim who wore a hijab for modesty in respect of her religion. An Ellensburg, Washington, restaurant hired her for a dishwasher job. Eventually, she asked a restaurant manager to be promoted to waitress. She was permitted to work only the less lucrative shifts of breakfast and lunch.

Harper asked to work the better dinner and cocktail shifts but was told no openings were available. However, over the next two years, the restaurant hired eight white em...(register to read more)

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