Head scarf head ache settled

The verdict is out: Human rights trump hair styles.

In November, 2007, Canadian entrepreneur, Sarah Desrosiers,
faced a legal battle after denying employment to Bushra Noah for wearing her
traditional headscarf and refusing to display her hair in Desrosier’s trendy London, England salon.

Desrosier claimed that she needed her employees to show off
their hairstyles to market her hair salon. After months of debating, the
employment tribunal panel has finally ruled that Desrosiers’ actions were
“indirect discrimination” against Noah.

The panel awarded Noah £4000 (the equivalent of about $8000
Cdn) for “injury to feeling” but dismissed her claims for direct religious
discrimination. The panel further stated that Desrosiers did not provide enough
evidence to demonstrate that a stylist with covered hair would have negatively
impacted her salon.

Daniel A. Lublin is a Toronto Employment Lawyer specializing in the law of wrongful dismissal.  He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.toronto-employmentlawyer.com