Muslims Sue Over Headscarf Rule

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Safia Abdulle Ali, Sahra Bashi Abdirahman, Hana Bokku, Sadiyo Hassan Jama and Amino Warsame are seeking back pay and compensatory damages from JetStream.  They claim that JetStream violated their civil rights as Muslim women by refusing to hire them, firing them, or reducing their hours if they were religiously observant.

According to the Denver Post, a federal jury trial began Monday in which JetStream Ground Services was accused of not allowing female Muslim employees to wear clothing required of them by their faith, including head scarves.  The Muslim women cleaned airplane cabins for JetStream Ground Services and objected to the uniform-only rule.  The case is being heard in U.S. District Court in Denver.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]JetStream offers ground services for airlines including cargo, freight, mail handling, aircraft maintenance and cabin cleaning.[/pullquote]

JetStream attorney Raymond Deeny said the company does not discriminate against women but had to lay off numerous employees when the company lost a contract with Denver International Airport.  “We are not motivated to drive these people away,” Deeny said during opening statements. “The highest percentage of people we hire are of Ethiopian heritage. … It has nothing to do with head scarves.”

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