CAIR-Philadelphia Calls for Investigation of Alleged Discrimination Against Muslim Employee for Wearing Head-Covering in Restaurant

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 4/7/23) – The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) today called for an investigation of an alleged incident that occurred at a Montgomery County restaurant where a Muslim employee was asked to choose between removing her hijab or leaving work. 

An employee of Michael’s Family Restaurant & Diner located in Glenside, Pennsylvania shared a concerning video on social media earlier today displaying an interaction between her and what appears to be her direct manager/supervisor. In the video, the manager/supervisor can be heard demanding that the employee remove her khimar while working at the establishment.

The manager/supervisor further stated her demand to have the khimar removed was in accordance with a rule that employees must remove head-coverings while working at the restaurant. While speaking with the employee’s mother, she also said “if she didn’t want to take it off … she has to go home.” The employee’s mother, who appears to also work at the establishment, can be heard saying she was told she also could not wear a head-covering at work.

In speaking on the matter, CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said, “This is unlawful religious discrimination, which is more disturbing during this sacred time of year. US law clearly establishes the right for people to freely accept religious beliefs and engage in any corresponding religious actions and/or rituals made in concert with those beliefs. Federal law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for those beliefs.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD; 617-401-5397 (mobile),; CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy N. Welbeck, Esq., 267-398-5640 (mobile),

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