Muslim women seek $10 million from McDonalds regarding discrimination





2 women say they were denied jobs over


By Niraj Warikoo • Free Press Staff Writer • July 24, 2008

Two Muslim women said they were denied jobs at a McDonald’s restaurant in Dearborn because they wore Islamic headscarves, according to a discrimination lawsuit filed today in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Toi Whitfield, 20, of Detroit, and Quiana Pugh, 25, of Dearborn, said they applied for jobs at the McDonald’s on Ford Road in the eastern section of Dearborn, but were told by the store manager “you’re not going to work here if you don’t remove” the headscarf, known as hijab. According to the women, he also said he couldn’t “really hire you due to your scarf.”

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s did not immediately comment on the lawsuit, but said a statement would be coming soon.

The Dearborn restaurant happens to be one of only two stores in the U.S. that sells Chicken McNuggets that are halal, the Muslim equivalent of kosher.

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said that it’s upsetting that a restaurant with such a large Muslim customer base would discriminate against Muslim women employees.

“They’ll take Muslim dollars, but won’t hire Muslim female employees,” Walid said.

The case was filed in Detroit against the store manager, a management company, and McDonald’s. It alleges the restaurant violated a state civil rights law.

The store is located in an area with one of the largest Arab-American and Muslim communities in the U.S.

Walid said the two Muslim women were African-Americans born in the United States.


Dearborn McDonalds Faces Discrimination


Plaintiffs Ask For $10 Million In Damages

DEARBORN — A $10 million lawsuit was filed Thursday against a Dearborn McDonalds on the grounds they refused to hire two Muslim women because of their dress.


Toi Whitfield and Quiana Pugh said they were denied employment by the McDonalds on Ford Road because they wore a hijab, a traditional Muslim head covering.


Both women said it was the same manager who refused to hire them, and that the discrimination has been happening for years.


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