Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And The Saga Continues...

Hairdresser sued for refusing to hire Muslim woman in a headscarf

Is anyone else getting tired of seeing these kinds of headlines yet? I am. Or at least I thought I was.

When I first read the headline, I thought "Oh yeah, here we go again..."

The owner of a hair salon is being sued for religious discrimination for refusing to hire a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf.

Sarah Desrosiers, 32, says she turned down Bushra Noah as a junior stylist to maintain the image of her salon, which specialises in "urban, funky" cuts.

She told Miss Noah, 19, she needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public. But the devout Muslim insisted that wearing her headscarf was essential to her beliefs.

Miss Noah, who has been rejected for 25 different hairdressing jobs after interviews, is suing Miss Desrosiers for more than £15,000 for injury to her feelings plus an unspecified sum for lost earnings.

But then I read the above and thought about it a little more.

I have always looked at these sort of things this way. Quite simply, my rights end where your rights start. Meaning that, yes, I am entitled to my freedom of religion (for example), just as you are. And I am entitled (at least in this country) to practice my religion. But my freedoms end where they unreasonably impact or infringe upon yours….or the legitimate requirements of the job.

In human rights jargon, we talk about Bona Fide Occupational Requirements (BFOR). Meaning that its not discrimination if its a for real honest-to-goodness necessary, legitimate requirement of the job. So, for example, if you apply for employment at a carnival that's only open on Saturdays and your religion doesn't allow you to work on Saturdays, not only is it fairly obvious that you are in the wrong place but the law will tell you that its a BFOR of this particular job that you work on Saturdays. (Okay, maybe not the best example, but you get the point.)

We saw an interesting case around this last year. Does anybody remember this one?

Teaching assistant Aishah Azmi was dismissed from a Church of England primary school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, after refusing to remove her niqab in lessons led by a male teacher. Mrs Azmi, said it was her Islamic duty to wear the veil in the presence of adult males who were not blood relatives.
We had a good discussion about it last year at Lex's. In the comments section there, I said the following:
But I was thinking, it seems fairly obvious that being able to see the speaker’s mouth movements would be helpful to someone trying to learn a new language. Sounds pretty much like a legitimate requirement of the job. But her problem was with with taking off the veil in front of a male colleague. So how necessary was it for him to be in the room while she taught? If there was a genuine legitimite need for it (which couldn’t be met by having a female colleague in the room in his place), then I geuss she should be looking for a new job. If not, then her religious rights and freedoms should be accommodated, just like we would want ours to be.The other two incidents in Britian, that’s just bizarre to me. Common sense, the least common sense of all.

One of the articles Lex linked to mentioned this incident, which had particularly struck me.

The third incident that has shaken the wafer-thin facade of multiculturalism was the case of a Christian worker at a British Airways' check-in counter. She wore a small cross, barely the size of her thumbnail, to work and was sent home for refusing to remove it. British Airways cited their rule of no jewelry and no religious symbolism except if it is hidden under the uniform. Ms Nadia Eweida claims that the BA rule clearly means "no Christian symbolism" as Sikh male employees are allowed to wear their much larger steel bangles with their livery, unhidden. Indeed, they are allowed to wear their turbans to work if they wish. And Muslim women can wear headscarves.

Ms Eweida has announced her intention to defend her right to wear her miniature cross by taking BA to court. Meanwhile, she has been suspended without pay by an unrelenting British Airways, which also publicly reprimanded her for calling attention to the incident.
Lex made some interesting points in response, such as that in a way, the teacher in that case had negotiated in bad faith. She didn’t wear the niqab during her interview, even though a man was a part of the interview process. So by her own lights, she was not faithful getting the job, but needed to be faithful once she had it. He also noted that "there are deep divisions even within Islam as to whether or not the veil is mandatory", the only true injunction that he was aware of is that people ought to dress “modestly.”

As I said at Lex's, personally, I’m not sure that whether or not the veil is mandatory in Islam is really that relevant - wearing a cross isn’t mandatory for Christians but that doesn’t mean that the flight attendant isn’t entitled to wear one if she wishes as a manifestation of her faith. And we all seemed to struggle with why Islamic attendents may cover their hair, and Sikhs may wear their turbans - both signs of their faith - but the Christian woman could not wear her cross.

It was a really good comment thread at Lex's. You should go read it all.

So having went this far afield, let's go back to Miss Noah and the hair salon. Is an uncovered head really a BFOR for the job?

The owner of the salon justifiies her decision this way:

"The image I have built my salon on is very urban, funky, punky. That is the look I am going for.

If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat I would ask them to remove it at work. "It has nothing to do with religion. But I now feel like I have been branded a racist. My name is being dragged through the mud."

In all honesty, I'm not quite sure on this one. If we put aside the anger and frustration that I think is becoming, perhaps legitimately, almost a preprogrammed response for many of us around these kind of incidents (myself included) and actually read 'the facts' first (imagine that, reading the facts before making a decision ... who would have thunk it?), we can focus more clearly on the question that really needs to be asked ... Is an uncovered head really a BFOR for this job?

Between the Blogs appears to take the view that the whole thing is riduculous. But is it because he sees a BFOR or is is there more than that at work here?

Personally, I wouldn’t hire her either. Shop rules are shop rules. Besides, as per my last post, if the world is OK with SCHOOL POLICY being given for the reason that a 13 year old girl is given 2 days detention because she showed a public display of affection when she hugged a female classmate goodbye for the weekend, then the world should just accept that it’s OK for an employer to set POLICY and require that employees adhere to it. After all, no one forces you to work somewhere.
As tempting as it may be, that's exactly where I think we shouldn't go with this.

Looking at how other individual cases have been handled (perhaps badly, perhaps even wrongly) isn't a justification for deciding what to do in any particular situation. And that's exactly what I think we do need to here ... look at each individual case on its own facts, putting aside those that have come before. And honestly ask whether or not, in the case of employment suits, a BFOR was involved. Or in the case of a sports team, for example, was there a legitimate safety issue in play.

Some other 'headlines' on similar issues for your viewing pleasure, but just do me a favour and make sure you get all the facts first. That's the problem with 'headlines' .. oh yeah, feel free to remind me to do the same as neccesary:
Shabina Begum, claimed a "victory for all Muslims" in a landmark Court of Appeal uling that Denbigh High School in Luton had unlawfully excluded her for flouting its uniform policy. Miss Begum lost almost two years' education before being accepted to another school which allowed her to wear the jilbab.

Accounts manager Aneela Farani, told an employment tribunal that she was repeatedly dismissed as a terrorist in the wake of the attacks on London in 2005. She said colleagues at Confidential Shredding Services, based at Old Trafford, made jokes about her headscarf which humiliated her.

Sophia Moussaoui, a divorce lawyer, was sacked by the Church of England's solicitors because her religious clothing was an embarrassment to the firm. Ms Moussaoui lost her job after Radcliffes, based in Westminster, merged with Jay Benning & Peltz, where she qualified.

H/T to Between The Blogs


doorkeeper said...

My rights as a private person to hire whom I choose, should never be infringed. After all, that's the whole point of capitalism, I can create whatever kind of business (within reasonable laws) that I choose, and attempt to make money thereby. If I am a jerk, people have the right not to buy my product, use my services, whatever. It's just like landlords being forced to rent to, or keep renting to, people who openly flaunt the beliefs of the owner--I should not have to use my private property for things which violate my religious beliefs.

MMC said...

Its about time someobody commented on this one... Hey, that post took a little time!

Well we can always agree to disagee... I think you know the rest of my feelings/thoughts on this one. When it comes to renting to persons in your own private residence, I would agree with you. Renting a separate residence, different story for me.

So would you really be okay with someone not giving you that apartment/house you really want and need for you and the kids, refusing to rent to you simply because you're a Christian? Its the only one you can really afford, its perfect for your family. But you can't have it ... not because you're a bad credit risk or have a bad rental hisotry or anything that would make some (business) sense, but simply because you're a Christian. All right with you?

Would you be okay with having your kids refused access to some community event/activity because you're Christian? Would you be okay with being told your son can't go on the bus, in a store, participate in a particular community event ... because of his disability?

No complaints at all? Really??

doorkeeper said...

You don't look at it from the other perspective at all. Perhaps you've never thought of it from that angle. But God's word tells us to refrain from even the appearance of evil. Also, to be good stewards of what he's given us. Also, to come apart from the sinners, and be clean.

I don't feel it is right to use property that God has given me, for sinful use, that's all. I think the choice should be between a person and God. I don't think that the gov't. has any right to legislate what I do with my own PRIVATE property--be it renting a house, or hiring someone who is anti- what I believe. I believe that is infringing on my rights--and part of why I am a Republican, because INDIVIDUAL rights is so important, beyond that of the state.

I think we'll always disagree on this one, because we were brought up so differently.


MMC said...

Not sure I quite understood all of that but ... yes or no, are you/would you really be okay with those examples I gave?

doorkeeper said...

OK, your examples...well, I feel they are different classes, let's take them one by one:

If someone refused to rent me a house because I was a Christian, I wouldn't want to live there. You think that's too simple an answer, but I would say a couple things: first, I'd expect God to take care of me--perhaps not put me up in a perfect house, perhaps even letting me live under a bridge--but He'd be in charge, and taking care of us.
Also, I can't believe that would be the only place. If there was truly nothing available, I'd believe that God was pushing me to move.

It has, and will continue to, happen....discrimination because people are Christian. RE: Sudan.

OK, second example, gonna separate the two: yep, you can (it happens all the time) discriminate against the Christians, or make it difficult for us....we have to live with that. It's a fact of life. Now, the gov't. isn't supposed to...but it's happening. No, I'd fight the gov't as much as I felt God lead me to.....

Now, disabilities, that's wrong. He can't help it, and no one should discriminate. We have laws here in the US, and sometimes people have to fight to hold them up.

OK--MOE, you are talking PUBLIC stuff in the second two examples, and PRIVATE stuff in the first.

I don't believe in public discrimination, but I believe a PRIVATE individual, with a private business, be it a hairdresser, landlord, whatever--should be allowed to do WHATEVER with HIS OWN PROPERTY.

Is it not discrimination to force a Christian landlord to rent to a flagrantly gay couple?
Would it not be discrimination to force me to rent my storefront to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for campaign headquarters? Should I be forced to do that, with MY OWN PROPERTY? I don't think so.
What of my rights as a private citizen?

I must to bed...but I will be checking, early AM. d

MMC said...

Guilty as charged, I did mix public and private. Because in my mind,its pretty close to the same thing with the exception of (renting) your own private dwelling. BTW were you yelling at me? Nah, not you... ;-)

So, you make a good point. But let's pull apart the nitty gritty a little more. Is it okay for that private person to discriminate against the disabled? When its not their fault?

Do we make a distinction based on whether the personal characteristic (disabiity, race, religion) is someone's choice or not? I'm not as 'pure' as you may think, by the way. I draw my own fuzzy lines out in the further reaches which might well contradict the way I am arguing here.

Which reminds me, what about our Muslim woman who wants to work in the hairdressing shop? You said no one should have to hire someone they don't want to. Then you said we can't allow public discrimination. So which is it?

The employer here didn't not hire her because it violated her own religious or other beliefs. She did it for (supposed) business reasons. Is it just as legimiate for her to make a similar decision for 'jerk' reasons? Maybe because she just doesn't like Muslims?

What if she doesn't like individuals with disabilities? Maybe because she is a jerk? Maybe because of some stereotype she believes? Is that okay? Even if the individual is capable of doing the job?

I mean, maybe if nothing else we can agree that it does get murky at times. It does to me anyway.

Anonymous said...

Well, my my .02, but I believe they have the right to hire (or not hire) whomever they please. Further, I believe the employer has the right to say how they want to run their own business including how they want employees to dress (dress code of their choice), how they want them to behave, etc. Just as I wouldn't hire a Scottish man wearing a kilt or a transvestite dressed in women's clothing. They are paying their employees it should be their choice regardless. I completely agree about being sick of these such issues.

doorkeeper said...

Nope, not yelling at you, just can't figure out how to emphasize, no italics, underline, enlighten me! (lazy)

I think our problem is pretty clear with this statement you made: Guilty as charged, I did mix public and private. Because in my mind,its pretty close to the same thing with the exception of (renting) your own private dwelling.

See, being raised a capitalist, in a free society, I believe that one should be able to do whatever one wishes (legally) with one's business. After all, customers are free to come or not--they can choose to use another business. Small businesses fail every day.
So, to me, a private business is private. IOW, I could hire whomever I choose, and no one should tell me I can't or must.

I find that to be an infringement of my rights.

OK, examples. I wouldn't expect a landlord to have to rent to a disabled person, over another candidate. Especially if it would entail added expense to the landlord. A landlord ought to be able to decide to rent to HIS CHOICE of tenants, or not at all. After all, it's his property (not the gov'ts) and his money (or lack of it, if he doesn't rent.)
A hairdresser shouldn't have to hire someone who won't show their hair, a clothing designer shouldn't have to hire someone who wears only robes--it defeats the point of the job. But even were all things equal, personality has to come into it. If I had a choice between a nasty, snotty person and a pleasant one, or even between one who agreed with my general beliefs vs. one who did not.....I should be able to choose. I shouldn't give preference to anyone BECAUSE of their sex, race, creed, etc., etc., blah, blah.
more later.........d

doorkeeper said...

shortening posts on purpose, so they'll probably run on from one to another.....

Down with reverse discrimination!!!
That should have gone in the last one.

One question: is this Ms. Noah suing EVERY business which refused to hire her? Or only this last? And the amount is ridiculous--15,000 POUNDS for "injury to her feelings"

Wah, wah. If you bring your religion into the public sphere, you will suffer for it. FACT. In fact, it says so in the Holy Bible, "all who live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." So, she's suffering for hers--not sorry for her. What good are beliefs if you never have to stand up for them?

She's also suing for an unspecified sum for lost earnings. That, I could possibly see...IF there were no other place she could work, if she'd been fired, etc. But there are obviously lots of hair salons (and that job doesn't pay hugely, anyway, seriously!) So--did she not get hired because hair stylists/salon owners are ALL prejudiced? Why would you want to work in such a place?

I'd bet McDonald's would have no problem with her wearing a headscarf.

So--the original case is ridiculous, but back to discrimination in general.

Why do you think that the only people who can be discriminated against are capitalist?? IOW, shop owners and those in business to make money? Did you ever think why you feel that way? Because it's certainly discrimination to tell me who I MUST have working for me in close quarters, every day. Perhaps the woman smelled...
I'd not want to tell her that. I shouldn't have to give a reason why I don't hire someone, just that I'd filled the position, sorry. Better luck next time.

What if the gov't made me hire someone to work with every day who liked rap music, for instance?? And I had to listen to their preference....why? Why should I, when I want to listen to country, every day.

rambling again......

doorkeeper said...

Figured out why I am having trouble commenting--it's the stupid word verification feature...
I've never seen one this hard to read, or this long. So I have to try multiple times before it will take my submission.

Will do.....grin d

doorkeeper said...

We discriminate all the time in business, about the way employees are allowed to dress. Should this be any different? Perhaps a businessman hates to wear ties...
should he get the job even though he tells the boss he cannot wear one?

Kris, in New England said...

My .02 cents are like the Anonymous commenter below. It's the salon owner - she pays the bills. Seems reasonable to me that a hair salon would want their employees' hair to actually be seen by the clients. The owner said she wouldn't allow anyone to wear a head covering - hat or otherwise. So why is this religious discrimination? Seems to me Ms. Noah should open her own Muslim-friendly salon and stop throwing out frivolous lawsuits.

And yes, I too am SO sick of these kinds of stories.

Jennifer said...

Well, I believe that an employer shoudl be able to hire whoever they want, as well. I also liked the comment door made about not needing to give the reason why the person was not hired, the position was just filled. I cannot tell you how many times that is just the truth. Position was filled. many factors played into it.

Now with that said... I pose a question, with something that has just happened here locally ( Sunny So Cal)

A young man from our church, has been going through the long, year long process of getting a job as a Sheriff's Deputy. This is a government position... just in case things are handled different in Canada. Part of the process, is to have a psych evaluation. The evaluator asks him, what he feels about homesexuality. He said... "repulsive" Just one word. Well, he was told that he was psychologically not fit for the job.

I, like door, understand that we as Christians will be persecuted for our beliefs, so this young man, can count it a joy, that he is serving our Lord.

However, aside from that. This is agovernment agency. This young man, did not say that he would be unable to protect and serve the homesexual community. On the contrary... we are told to love the sinner and hate the sin. He would be able to still be a just officer, in spote of the lifestyle.

Let me add, just as a note... we have probably have say... about 10 or so men in our church that are in the Sherriff's Dept. OR in the dpet. of Corrections ( different bracn all together) I am not sure if this current young man was targeted iwth that question, because of his church background or what. But these other men were able to get, keep and maintain these positions....

BTW, he is not suing the Sheriff's Dept. Just standing amazied....

Jennifer said...

I guess I forgot to ask my question....LOL... and BTW, sorry for the typos....

Ok.. here is the question..
Is there a different set of rights that needs to be followed when it is a government job, versus a private owner?

Ok.. talks amongst yourselves...

doorkeeper said...

Yes, I believe there should be a different set of rules for gov't and private enterprise. The gov't is representing us all, and should be even-handed, while private enterprise is for-profit (whether in cash or kind, or for whatever reason.) After all, it's a gov't FOR the people.

I think the Sheriff's dept. in your post was wrong, but I think the young man handled it appropriately. God has seen, and will judge and recompense. I do think that a challenge might be made to that eval., it's wrong for them to claim psychological imbalance on one little fraction.

And the hypocrisy of it just ticks me off.

MMC said...

I will be back later, didn't intend to jump back in just yet but ... I see what looks like might be a little hypocrisy here. The Sheriff's Dept was wrong, presumably because it was government. And government has to be fair and even-handed. And it wasn't, so that was hypocritical. Do I have it right? Well, I'm not sure 'hypocritical' is the right word, because you wouldn't think it was hypocritical if the employer was a private person or enterprise.

With the private/public distinction (which I am okay with in some contexts by the way), I guess all Christians, Muslims, gays, disabled individuals ... fill in the name of every other 'minority' will have to work for the government. Because no one else "has to" hire them. But I hope I never ever hear a comment going the other way, that a Christian or anyone else is being discriminated against because an employer won't let them ... fill in the blank... ie) don't ever complain about the flight attendant's situation in the original post. Because you can't have it both ways. And this could just result in more big government interference in the marketplace. They might just be forced to build places for the disabled to live if no one else wants them. Oh wait, wouldn't that be segration? Oh dear...

By the way, a person could answer that homosexuality question the same way whether or not they were a 'Christian'. I know many who would respond that way, who might well not consider themselves Christians ... not practicing ones anyway.

doorkeeper, your comment about dress codes and wearing a tie for work. There's a difference between someone saying I don't like to wear a tie (good, go find a job that doesn't require one) and a religious requirement. Not that I am aware of any prohibition against wearing ties, mind you. Those things tend to go more towards being positively required to wear some item. And, unless there is some safety reason wny the person shouldn't be wearing it in that particular job...

One final comment, I get a kick out of comments that I get here and elsewhere about my viewpoint being different since I wasn't raised in a "capitalist country". I beg to differ... Canada leans a little further left than the US in a few big ticket items that get a lot of media attention (ie. health care) but besides those, there really isn't that much different. I would submit that in the majority of ways, we are almost as 'capitalist' as the US.

*Quick and dirty. Typos and errors in logic cannot be held against me in this comment*

doorkeeper said...

I am really enjoying this, M!
I have to run, but couldn't resist a few things:

The hypocrisy was in that the Sheriff's dept. apparently has a number of people who attend the same church, and logically feel the same way, but they are allowed to have their jobs, and this man isn't. That's the hypocrisy, and it would be the same, in a private enterprise. I see a legitimate case there, for discrimination, in either case, IF that's the reason given for not hiring.

Second, the woman's religion does NOT require the wearing of the head covering. If she belongs to some obscure sect which DOES require that, then they probably have other rules, which would also interfere in her employment.
I question again, WHY does this chick want to work in a hair salon? The whole story smells like a fishmarket...makes no sense at all.

And as for ribbing you about the capitalism/socialism/whatever aspect, I think our countries are actually quite a lot farther apart than you realize, judging from some of the comments you make, the assumptions you seem to have, about how things should be or are. Sure Canada is a lot like US, but I'd argue it's more like the UK.

What say you? (G) d

MMC said...

D, how do you know that the woman's religion does not require the headcovering? If you're right, then that's fine with me. End of story. End of lawsuit. But how do you know that?

And the "if so ...they probably have other rules which would interfere with her employment" comment is just speculation.

The capitalism/socialism discussion ... never judge a book by its cover. Or a country by one citizen, right? Not being a smarta** here but, seriously, have you ever been to Canada? Spent much time here? Have friends here ... other than yours truly?

I have spent a fair bit ... okay, some, but it feels like a fair bit (meant in a good way)... of time in the US. My brother lived there for four years and an uncle has lived there for 20 years. Of course, its not like I have had these kinds of discussions with them. Although my uncle did make one comment recently, he has been thinkig about moving back to Canada and when I asked him why ... interesting comment. But I wouldn't put too much faith in that. He is an interesting kind of guy...

I stand to be corrected but I have trouble believing there are really that many differences. BUT ... I must say, you're more likely to concinve me of that now, after a year and a half on the milblogs, then you would have before. But then again, is my view being skewed there too? Is a milblog a milblog ... and by virtue of that simply attracts and keeps a certain kind of reader?

Jennifer said...

Hey Michelle,
well.... about the Sheriff's dept. I guess for me, was that this guy, was not wearing something that would detract from his ability to do the job. His religion is something in his heart. He is not even asking anyone else to act in a certain way. He was asked a question, that frankly I do not think he should have been asked. I think that he was asked, because of the church he attends... and becaue his references were from the church, and there was an agenda being pushed.... If he had not been asked, he would not have even discussed his thoughts on the subject... for therein lies the difference.

MMC said...

I can't see the difference, Jennifer. In my opinion, he shouldn't have been asked the question, period. And if (do you know for absoloute sure that was the reason?) that was the reason he didn't get the job, then its not right. In my opinion.

Is it wrong enough to legally be discrimination? Let me try to think that one through.

MMC said...

Oops, that one got me away from me. I was still thinking!

Something is bugging me about it (I am just trying to analyze it from a legal point of view) but despite that I will say that it probably is discrimination. As long as his beliefs won't affect his actions in a way that would make him unable to do the job. In exactly the same way that as long as that requirement of no headcovering is not a legitimate requirement of the job in the hair salon, then its discrimination.

The only difference I see between the two (besides deciding the issue of the legitimacy of the no headcovering requirement in the case of the hair salon) is that one is a public employer and one is a private employer. With the resultant fact that majority of my readership is prepared to let a private employer discriminate. Whereas I would only do so in rather limited circumstances.

But as long as you all think its okay for your child to be refused admittance to a store or any other private venue in the community simply on the basis of their disability, who am I to argue? You're always welcome to come visit, but just please don't move to my community...

doorkeeper said...

M, you're mixing apples and oranges again.

You keep referring to your child not being allowed to go somewhere simply because they're disabled--we DO NOT DO THAT HERE. (there are laws forcing places to BE handicap accessible, have handicap bathrooms, etc...private businesses. must.)

The discussion is about JOBS--not about access.

OK, suppose you suddenly have an idea for a trendy, funky, DIFFERENT clothing line, and manufacture your own clothes, to sell in your store--your clothes are designed for skinny people (a US prejudice) and although you don't stop fat people from buying the clothes (and you wince when you see them on the street) you have a sudden problem--you have a job opening, interview three people, and when you choose one, another threatens to sue you, claiming you didn't hire her BECAUSE SHE'S FAT.
Well, isn't that a legitimate reason? Not that you may not have had other reasons...not that that girl can't go work for Lane Bryant or some other store--but she believes you didn't hire her because she's fat. And wouldn't look good in your clothes. Which, btw, you offer your employees a HUGE discount on your clothes, in hopes that they'll wear them and so, result in more sales.

Is that a problem?

doorkeeper said...

As to the "her religion doesn't require her to wear a head covering" comment, I was relying on my knowledge that the Koran doesn't require it.

Perhaps she belongs to some obscure sect, OR, her personal beliefs--a vow on her part to her god--require it. In that case--it's likely that she shouldn't be seeking a job in a hair salon.

I live among people whose religion requires a hair covering. It also requires women to grow their hair long, and keep it bound up, under the covering. They would not seek employment in a hair salon, they would find DOING that job, as violating their religious beliefs.

I still don't get it--did anyone find out if this chick sued EVERY business which didn't hire her?

MMC said...

I think it was implied in the original article that she didn't sue anyone else. Or let's put it this way, I expect it would have been stated in the article if she had sued someone else. Why does it matter so much to you? Fortunately, we can't force people to sue. Yet. Not even in the US.

To me your funky, trendy clothing designer/retailer is in just about exactly the same position as the owner of the hair salon. Is wearing and looking good in the product a legitimate job requirement?

If I can summarize this whole thread, what I am hearing is that that both private employers and landlords have rights which shall not be infringed ... the right to hire and rent to only whom they choose. For whatever reason.

But I don't see why you bestow upon that store owner the right to discriminate however he may see fit when it comes to choosing his employees but give him no rights when it comes to his customers. Why you would force him to let people he does not want to associate with into his premises.

Why should your trendy clothing desginer/manufacturer/retailer be forced to sell his clothes to fat people? Those fools look ridiculous, for goodness sake. Its bad for business!

Like you said, if he's a jerk, people have the right to not patronize his business. The market will take care of it, right? So what's the problem?

We're talking private property here. You have no right to come into my house without my consent. So what gives you the right to enter my private store without my permission?

You see apples and oranges.
I see an error in logic...

MMC said...

doorkeeper, one more thought.

You said "You keep referring to your child not being allowed to go somewhere simply because they're disabled--we DO NOT DO THAT HERE. (there are laws forcing places to BE handicap accessible, have handicap bathrooms, etc...private businesses. must.)"

Which got me thinking... Why??
What right does government have to not only force me, as a private individual, to allow disabled people onto my premses but also to spend money, out of my pocket, to make those premises accessible?

Let me get this straight... I don't require these amenities. My employees don't require these enemies. After all, I chose not to hire anybody with a disability. 98% of my potential customers don't require these amenities. Actually 100% of my customers wouldn't require these amenities if you would just leave me alone ... because I wouldn't allow any people with disabilities even into my store.

But its one thing to force me to let them in and let them buy my products. Now you are telling me that I have to spend money to meet their needs? Where does the government get off doing that? That's just screwing with my business, interfering in the market place, right? In the words of Kris, why don't the disabled people just go open their own disability-friendly businesses? And then they can pay for the cost of all those renovations and amenities. That would make more sense, after all, they are the ones who require them.

Just a thought ... or maybe I should say, a thought process. Youe mileage may vary.

doorkeeper said...

Ok, well, it's fairly simple to me: if she didn't get hired at 25 places; why is she only suing one?

that makes no sense.

What reasons did the others have for not hiring her? probably because she won't show her hair.

It would be entirely reasonable for a hair salon owner to fire someone who showed up with dirty hair, unwashed, uncombed, looking yucky....

seems plain to me.

doorkeeper said... you're confusing me.

You think this woman should have been hired even though she won't show her hair--in a HAIR business. But showing her hair is a choice.

Yet you think that private citizens should have the right to own/run businesses which disabled people can't get their wheelchairs into? When disability is NOT a choice?

Wait, weren't you the one who was concerned that the disabled would not be allowed to enter the store?

scratching my tired head...d

MMC said...

You must be tired, d.
I assume she didn't sue the first 25 places because it would cost her a fortune in lawyer fees.

I never came down with an answer on the hair issue. I think I said somewhere in the orginal post that I can't quite figure out whether the requirement not to have their hair covered is a BFOR.

The comments about keeping the disabled out of the private stores ... sarcasm, of sorts. Because in my mind I can't see the distinction you make. If a landlord is entitled to decide not to rent to someone because of their religion, they should be entitled not to rent to them simply because they are disabled. And if a private business owner shouldn't be have to hire anyone they don't want to then they should have the right to keep any potential customer out of their business too, including a disabled person. And they certainly shouldn't be forced by government to spend their money to make their business accessible. That's where your reasoning takes me.

See, being raised a capitalist, in a free society, I believe that one should be able to do whatever one wishes (legally) with one's business.
Do whatever one wants with one's business, right? Including deciding who not to hire (blacks) and who not to let in the door (the disabled), right?

MMC said...

Well, the post title seems appropriate anyway. What other things?

doorkeeper said...

Boy, I just keep running up against a wall in your thinking, I guess we'll have to leave it for a while. I'd bet you're having the same problem, just totally don't "get" why I think the way I do.

Let's see if I can state it clearer...we don't (aren't allowed to) discriminate against someone because of things they cannot help: disability, race, sex.
The prevailing attitude, however, is that creed is something you choose, and we still have to have a really good reason, like, it'd be bad for my business.

The hair thing is just ridiculous to me. Why she wanted the job in the first place...

and why she'd sue just one person who didn't hire her...that seems unfair. They ALL wouldn't hire her.

But, oh, well. Perhaps it's because, as a Christian, I expect to be persecuted for my beliefs, and so I see that as a choice I make for my God. And I allow others the same privilege.

While a store owner is a private person, his store is open to the public. Private (membership only) places do exist, but if they tried to exclude the handicapped, that lobby would be after them so fast they'd lose everything. The handicap lobby is huge and very powerful in this country.

So, restaurants must (by law, actually) have handicap-accessible bathrooms, and ramps into the building. All stores don't--but most comply with the "idea" out of common sense. At least here where I live.

I least you're still talking to me about this. I'm beginning to wonder if I should shut up about other stuff.


MMC said...

The post title seems appropriate anyway. What other stuff?