Woman claims hiring discrimination over hijab

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 20:00

A woman's dream of working for a popular local accessories and cosmetics store came crashing down, after she claims she was turned away for wearing a hijab, even after being offered the job.

Njemile Alexander says she is heart-broken as she claims she only found out that she was being refused, after she had already turned up for the job for which she had qualified.

In a post to CNC3's Facebook page, Alexander relates her story. 

"This one is so heart breaking. (Store) called me for an interview...I was accepted for a data entry position. Before the interview the Human Resource Manager explained to me that the company has a zero policy on hiring persons with head wear. I then received a call yesterday confirming that I was given the position. I ask yet once again would my head wear be an issue she replied no, " she said.

Alexander continued: "Today I arrived for work only to be told that she is unable to employ me anymore. The Directors saw me and told her to send me away or they would fire her if she keeps me as the policy is no head wear. Moral of this story, I felt discriminated. I was given a ultimatum to take off my headwear to have the job I decided no, I would leave. What's even more sad is I had resign from my previous job as (store) was a better opportunity....smh in this modern time ppl still discriminate. I would never support (store) when they put up signs saying hiring. They need to really say hiring but not hiring Muslims and persons that wear headwear."

CNC3 has attempted to contact the management of the store but has not as yet been able to reach them. In order to protect the interest of the company until its side is given, we have chosen to withhold the name of the store. 

The store's website does not outline a policy regarding head-wear under its "Vacancy" section.

Apart for academic requirements, the company requires the following for a data-entry position:

"Physical Requirements: Ability to regularly lift up to 50 lbs. must be able to meet demands of frequent walking, standing, stooping, kneeling, climbing, pushing and pulling.
Skills and competencies: Customer Focus, Results Driven, Strong Organizational Skills, Communication Skills, Job Knowledge, Ability to multitask and detail oriented and highly observant.
Personal Qualities: Confidential, Patient, Polite, Friendly/Pleasant, Honesty and Integrity."

The company adds, "Just like the demographics of our nation we believe that every (Store) employee adds to the diverse energy of our workplace".

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