Michigan-based restaurant chain, Anna’s House, and two former employees who filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit, have reached a settlement. The lawsuit was filed in January 2020 by the eatery’s Westland location staff. They alleged they were terminated without reason.
A manager alleged she was asked to tell a worker in the front to remove her hijab and she refused to do so because it was part of the woman’s religious expression. According to the lawsuit, the Anna’s House owner also allegedly asked whether the kitchen supervisor prayed at work, and the supervisor’s attorney believes his client was targeted due to be a Muslim.
“Our two clients suffered the most horrific, undignified treatment at the hands of the owner of Anna’s House – they were embarrassed, they were humiliated, they were victims of discrimination and I am so honored to represent them because they have the courage and the bravery to fight back,” Michael Pitt, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said upon filing.
The suit alleges further, “Anna’s House owner and operator Josh Beckett fired former employees Alicia Dunlap and Aliou Diao without explanation after trying to enforce policies in a discriminatory manner and even asking one Muslim woman to remove her headscarf, or hijab, during working hours.” He actually referred to the woman’s “jihab,” which the plaintiff believes was done purposely.
“Everybody knows that jihad is not the proper term for the Muslim headscarf, it is hijab,” said Amy Doukoure, attorney representing Diao with CAIR-Michigan. “Jihad is often a word that is weaponized against Muslims to create an environment and an atmosphere and to create the sense that Muslims are inherently nefarious to the fabric of America. His choice of words, we don’t believe, was an accident.”
Both employees worked at the Westland location. They were fired on June 17, 2019, despite receiving positive performance feedback. Dunlap, a Hispanic and Christian woman, worked for the restaurant for two years. Diao, a Senegalese Muslim, worked as kitchen manager since December 2017.
Read the complete article at: Legal Reader