Employee Asks To Wear Hijab, but Supervisor Allegedly Considers Not Professional Clothing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit against Home Instead Senior Care for Religious Discrimination
Antoinette joined Home Instead Senior Care as a caregiver in January 2016. As a practicing Muslim, she typically wore a blouse, long skirt, or dress with her hijab. Her employer was aware of her faith and the faith’s requirements. As part of her job duties, Antoinette and her supervisor routinely met up with possible clients to discuss care needs.
In early May, Antoinette shared how her supervisor told her that on May 5th, they had a meeting with a potential client to determine whether or not Antoinette’s clothing was acceptable. Previously, a Catholic client had told them that Antoinette would “scare the residents being Muslim and wearing a long dress.”Previously, a Catholic client had told them that Antoinette would “scare the residents being Muslim and wearing a long dress.” A few days before the meeting, Antoinette received a text from her boss allegedly stating that the potential clients wanted Antoinette to wear “street clothes.”
Concerned about what this meant, Antoinette called her supervisor and asked what “street clothes” meant for her appearance. Her supervisor wanted her to be “professional in appearance.” Antoinette then specifically asked if she could wear a long skirt, blouse, and her hijab. According to Antoinette, her supervisor told her that she could wear her long skirt and blouse.
In that moment, Antoinette understood that her employer considered her hijab not to be “professional in appearance” and that she should conceal her faith. On May 5th, Antoinette arrived to the potential client’s home and waited outside for her supervisor. When her supervisor didn’t show up, Antoinette found out from the company office that her supervisor was running late. Due to the heightened scrutiny and criticism of her apparel, Antoinette wasn’t comfortable attending the meeting alone so when her supervisor still didn’t arrive, Antoinette called her and canceled the meeting.
Antoinette voiced her concern about the fact that Home Instead Senior Care assigned her to work with someone who scrutinized her faith and that her employer forced her to conform. She was terminated on May 5th. Antoinette found it strange that her employer could have assigned a different employee to this client but they didn’t, and she noted that no other employee was subjected to such scrutiny for their clothing. Antoinette believes that Home Instead Senior Care discriminated against her due to her religion.
As a client of KM&A, Antoinette believes in her right to religious freedom and fights for her employee rights. KM&A advocates on the behalf of men and women like Antoinette who have faced religious discrimination in the workplace. No employee should face religious discrimination.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:17-cv-05070-CDJ.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.