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Religious freedom at workplace..

blue-ice. IF-Addictz

Joined: 04 March 2009
Posts: 54369

Posted: 28 June 2011 at 3:05pm | IP Logged
Just read this article on Yahoo news..

Muslim woman sues Abercrombie & Fitch over hijab

What are your views on this?
Should religious freedom take priority over the rules of a company?
If a Burqa clad women wants to join the police force but wants to wants to wear Burqa over the police uniform and cover her face...should that be allowed in the name of freedom of religion??
How much is too much?? Will there ever be a proper balance??
Please give ur genuine views and please DO NOT turn this into a religion bashing thread...

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hindu4lyf IF-Rockerz

Joined: 25 March 2008
Posts: 9352

Posted: 28 June 2011 at 4:33pm | IP Logged
Some employee that works in Hollister (owned by A&F) in Westfield was told she had to remove her poppy and wasn't allowed to wear it. You can imagine what a big deal was made when the British media found out about that.

I can't say I'm surprised at all. I don't think this is a religious issue at all though and A&F shouldn't be made to look like racists or Islamophobics. Everyone knows A&F hire people that look like models and if they don't fit that bill then yes, they are likely to be asked to remove their scarf or turban or something else maybe. If I had to take a guess then I'd say when she went for an interview she didn't go wearing her hijab.

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return_to_hades IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 18 January 2006
Posts: 24303

Posted: 28 June 2011 at 5:28pm | IP Logged
I'm going to address this issue not as a religious freedom issue, but as a secular personal freedom issue.

Companies have dress codes, and everyone has to follow it. People who have piercings and tattoos either have to conceal them if they are in professional settings dealing with customers. In industrial settings people have to cut their hair short or keep it wound under tight caps for safety reasons. In food service jewelry is often prohibited from keeping it falling in the food.

However, sometimes companies do push the limit. Companies have been known to have tattoos and piercings rules to prevent teenagers or people whom they deem as punks from getting a job. Sometimes they have rules to keep people from certain religions or belief systems out. And rules that intentionally discriminate against personal freedom is wrong.

The first question is:

Is this rule reasonably acceptable? Is it professionally necessary or necessary for safety reason? Back room jobs are prohibited from having appearance related rules, but are expected to have reasonable safety related rules. Picky airline companies also have to code and hire airhostesses as 'models', otherwise it would be illegal for them to not hire very competent servers who don't fit the pretty bill.

If the rule is reasonably acceptable under law, then the store is fine.  Otherwise, its a red flag and sure fire illegal whether its a Muslim or some weirdo who likes to wear hijaab for fun.

The second question is whether the rule is universally applied or selectively applied? Would the store prohibit
- A hippie from wearing their bandanna
- A ghetto punk from wearing their do rag
- An African American from wearing traditional headdress
- A cancer patient from wearing a headdress
- Sikhs from wearing their turbans
- A Jew from wearing their kippah
- A Muslim from wearing a hijab

If the answer is no in any circumstance, then the store is discriminatory.

Another interesting thing is, the store has a lawsuit on its hands if some branches follow the rule and some don't. Companies have been known to have different set of rules for upscale locales and different for ghetto locales. So that is why management is expected to be trained in rules and expectations and apply it in every branch no matter what - unless they have exemptions under state or local law for some reason.

That being said, I wondered if one could work as a stripper and sue for a hijaab exception. It would be hilarious if someone did that. Maybe its the weirdo with the hijaab wearing fetish. Then I had a flash of brilliancy for a hijaab po*n or burqua po*n market. Unfortunately, rule 34, that market has been taken. My only brilliant business hope is incorporating the Catholic church.

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Summer3 IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 24 September 2007
Posts: 44418

Posted: 28 June 2011 at 8:12pm | IP Logged
Good points Sarina ji.
Generally wearing a scarf should be fine, it looks kinda nice too.
But covering the whole face may seem anti-social at times.
The face is an important part of the body and most people do not want to be talking to a wall. There could be some exceptions though in certain cases provided the management accepts the reasons.
But if a lady is too pretty and a major distraction, then she may have to cover her face. LOL

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-Believe- IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 03 December 2005
Posts: 25723

Posted: 29 June 2011 at 1:08am | IP Logged

With me there is lots of muslim female staffs who wear normal executive dress(eg: suits+cover their head),In profnl world, clothing comes an attitude, with an attitude ur work performance completely changes as it is necessary to maintain a Profnl look..otherwise its look makes you look more casual..But nothing wrong if anyone wish to cover their head or keeping their religous sign in work place!!Smile

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zorrro IF-Dazzler

Joined: 29 July 2008
Posts: 2702

Posted: 29 June 2011 at 5:12am | IP Logged

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rahmona_pakswe IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 13 July 2009
Posts: 18773

Posted: 29 June 2011 at 4:46pm | IP Logged
I have no idea how others do but me who wears a hijab and also cover my body with a coat simply avoid a job where I'm forced to take it off. I choose my religion over the job and that's a sacrifice I'm ready to make. This doesn't mean everyone should do it. It's only my personal choice.
Coming to the question of religious freedom at work. Of course there should be however I don't think it's possible to work for example as a lawyer or a doctor wearing a burqa. There are certain jobs where you simply need to see the face.

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-Believe- IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 03 December 2005
Posts: 25723

Posted: 29 June 2011 at 11:23pm | IP Logged

If any low(Religious/Govt) forcing women to wear or not wear burqa/abaya its wrong...its all abt  personal choice and free will!!

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