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Justice Department Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Essex County, New Jersey
U.S. DOJ.GOV/opa - Press Release ^ | June 8, 2009 | n/a

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:06:27 AM PDT by Cindy

Note: The following text is a quote:

Justice Department Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Essex County, New Jersey

County Refused to Accommodate Muslim Employee’s Religious Headcovering

The Department filed a lawsuit today against Essex County, N.J., alleging that it discriminated against a Muslim corrections officer on the basis of her religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit alleges that the county refused to permit Yvette Beshier to wear a religiously mandated headscarf while working as a corrections officer.

Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion. Its religious discrimination provisions require employers to make a reasonable accommodation of employees’ religious observances and practices. The Justice Department enforces Title VII’s prohibitions against employment discrimination with respect to state and local governments.

According to the complaint, the Essex County Department of Corrections (DOC), first suspended Beshier and then terminated her on the ground that her wearing of a khimar (a head scarf) violated its uniform policy for corrections officers. The complaint alleges that Beshier had requested a religious accommodation that would permit her to wear her khimar, but the DOC denied her request.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Newark seeks a court order requiring Essex County to adopt a policy that reasonably accommodates the religious observances and practices of employees and prospective employees subject to the Essex County DOC’s uniform policy for corrections officers. The suit also seeks monetary damages and other relief for Beshier.

"Employees should not have to choose between their religious beliefs and their economic livelihood," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "Federal law requires all employers, even those having policies regarding the wearing of uniforms, to reasonably accommodate the religious observances and practices of their employees."

The filing of this lawsuit reflects the Civil Rights Division’s ongoing commitment to actively enforce Title VII’s prohibitions against religious discrimination. In February, the Division obtained court approval of a settlement agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority requiring the authority to adopt a religious accommodation policy to its uniform requirements for bus drivers, and providing relief to a prospective Apostolic Pentecostal employee and two Muslim employees who required religious accommodations. The Division also has a pending suit against the New York City Transit Authority alleging it has discriminated against Muslims, Sikhs and other employees through its uniform policy.

Please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/crt for additional information about the Civil Rights Division and its law enforcement activities.

###

09-559


TOPICS: History; Reference; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: america; correctionsofficer; correctionsofficers; creepingsharia; creepingshariah; discrimination; essexcounty; headcovering; headscarf; islam; khimar; lawfare; lawsuit; muslim; muslims; newjersey; nj; sharia; shariah; uniform; uniformpolicy; uniforms; usa

1 posted on 06/09/2009 12:06:28 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cindy

Tell the commie bitches in the DOJ to FOAD


2 posted on 06/09/2009 12:08:14 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: All
OPINION: The department uniform policy is the department uniform policy.


SNIPPET from post no. 1:

"According to the complaint, the Essex County Department of Corrections (DOC), first suspended Beshier and then terminated her on the ground that her wearing of a khimar (a head scarf) violated its uniform policy for corrections officers."

3 posted on 06/09/2009 12:12:46 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cindy

A UNIFORM IS A UNIFORM IS A UNIFORM. WHEN YOU HAVE A JOB THAT REQUIRES A UNIFORM WEAR IT OR GO HOME!!! As simple as that, it has nothing at all to do with discrimation. What has The USA come to, kowtowing to the very people that are threatening to destroy it???


4 posted on 06/09/2009 12:19:09 AM PDT by rontorr (It's just my opinion, but I am RIGHT!)
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To: pissant

Ditto.


5 posted on 06/09/2009 12:24:58 AM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican
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To: Cindy

When and where does this stop? I understood the head scarf was not a requirement of Islam, just certain sects and cultures under its massive umbrella? I wouldn’t be srprised to learn that Ms. Beshier was not a BORN Muslim, but an inner-city convert.

Ms. Beshier didn’t know about the uniform when she applied for the job? Will there come a time when people just have to accommodate the regulations that were in effect at the place where they applied to work? Or is that asking too much?


6 posted on 06/09/2009 12:26:52 AM PDT by EDINVA (A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul -- G. B. Shaw)
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To: EDINVA
I understood the head scarf was not a requirement of Islam, just certain sects and cultures under its massive umbrella?

The Koran only says that women should dress modestly. It says nothing about head scarves, burkas, etc.

7 posted on 06/09/2009 12:31:27 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist"-Dr House)
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To: rontorr

I dunno. Would you feel the same way if it was someone wearing a yarmulke? Most muslims in the united states are moderate religiously, and socially and economically conservative. In the 2000 election, Republicans had like a 14 point lead over democrats in the muslim vote, and the last 8 years dissipated a lot of that. (http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=news-000002676033)

Some of it was inevitable after Iraq and Afghanistan, but it doesn’t have to be a long-term trend. Standing up for religious freedoms that don’t really impact the job is a good way to win back a naturally conservative group that should be voting republican.

The same thing is true for jews and african americans - both groups would benefit from a more entrepeneurial regulatory and political system with lower taxes. Government intervention has failed to fix any of black america’s problems. But because we let democrats portray conservatives as anti-minority, they vote against their own self-interest.


8 posted on 06/09/2009 12:31:36 AM PDT by socalgop
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To: EDINVA
When and where does this stop?

We've just begun ....!!!!

9 posted on 06/09/2009 12:32:07 AM PDT by Bradís Gramma (BG x 2)
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To: socalgop
because we let democrats portray conservatives as anti-minority

How are we supposed to prevent the democrats from doing what they want to do?

10 posted on 06/09/2009 12:53:07 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ("men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." -- Edmund Burke)
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To: Cindy

So will the DOJ protect you and I if we were to wear a cross?


11 posted on 06/09/2009 3:22:04 AM PDT by earlJam
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To: Cindy

However, Christian teachers employed by the state will continue to be forbidden to wear even a tiny silver cross noting their faith, and certainly prevented from actually speaking the name of their God or admitting to being one of His followers.


12 posted on 06/09/2009 4:09:08 AM PDT by 50sDad (The Left cannot understand life is not in a test tube. Raise taxes, & jobs go away.)
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To: Cindy

“Separation of Church and state”... they apply that one to Catholics, why not muslims? She is a state employed corrections officer. If she is near the general prison population, for her own safety, the headscarf is not appropriate. What if a prisoner grabs her by that headscarf and injures her? Will she then sue us for not protecting her?


13 posted on 06/09/2009 4:10:25 AM PDT by jughandle
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To: earlJam

Both a cross and a yamulke can both be accomodated as a religious accomodation with no concerns for safety or security. The head scarf, which completely covers everything other than the eyes, is a legitimate safety and security issue. I would think an employee would be similarly restricted from wearing a mask or a hood with sunglasses. This goes hand-in-hand with the Muslim women who want to get their drivers’ license and employee ID photos taken with the burkha on. These are forms of IDENTIFICATION, so it makes absolutely NO SENSE to take the photo unless you can clearly identify the employee.


14 posted on 06/09/2009 4:14:44 AM PDT by RightFighter (Sarah Palin - we love you and can't wait to see you again.)
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To: jughandle
I'm in complete agreement that the headscarf could be pulled off of her head and used as a weapon against her, or some one else. That alone should preclude her from wearing one. This suit is complete and utter bull. Can't Obombi’s minions think of a better way to waste our tax money away? Oh, and by the way, Essex County New Jersey is one of the most “progressive” places on earth, let alone the United States.
15 posted on 06/09/2009 4:33:05 AM PDT by RU88 (Bow to no man)
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To: RightFighter

The purpose of a uniform is “uniformity” of employees.

There are lots of examples where Christians have been forced to remove a tiny cross pin, cross necklace or even a Christian chastity ring. (Google “employee told to remove cross”)

So I don’t buy your comparison.


16 posted on 06/09/2009 6:47:00 AM PDT by earlJam
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To: earlJam

That’s ridiculous, too - we should fight all of these infringements on frfee exercise of religion if they don’t impact the ability to perform the job. But it makes the argument for letting us wear cross pins at work much stronger if she gets a headscarf.


17 posted on 06/09/2009 10:07:28 AM PDT by socalgop
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