Two Muslim women in Dearborn, Michigan have filed a lawsuit against a McDonalds franchisee for discrimination after allegedly refusing to hire them if they wore their headscarves at work, as well as making derogatory comments about the headscarves during the interview process. Laura Ingraham interviews author Hussein Ibish about the incident, for which the two women want $10 million in damages — which amounts to a lot of burgers:
Let’s assume that the facts are what the plaintiffs claim in this case, at least in the hiring decision if not the derogatory comments. Do headscarves present enough of a danger in the workplace to present a reasonable basis to deny the women employment? Most restaurants, as Ibish notes, mandate hair coverings anyway, especially for food preparers. Usually they issue hairnets, which could be worn under the scarves if needed. Scarves leave long ends trailing down the back, but those can be tied off or worn under the uniform shirt to keep the danger of catching fire at a minimum.
But why would two observant Muslim women want to work at McDonalds anyway? Their entire breakfast menu consists of one pork dish after another. Their breakfast sandwiches all either use Canadian bacon or pork sausage, as do their breakfast burritos. As employees, they would have to handle, cook, serve, and clean pork on a constant basis. Wouldn’t that cause more problems for the women than whether they wear headscarves or not?
This appears more to be a deliberate provocation than an honest attempt to find work. As Ibish says, a trial will work all of that out, but if it does turn out to be a public-relations stunt, hopefully the court will award court costs and attorney’s fees to the franchisee to discourage more of this in the future.