An employee at Chicken Express was sent home for refusing to take off her hijab
(CNN)An employee of a Chicken Express restaurant in Texas says she faced religious discrimination when a manager sent her home for refusing to take off her hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women.
Stefanae Coleman, 22, arrived at work on Monday wearing a hijab for the first time. As a recent convert to Islam, she said she was excited to don the religious covering and hopeful that her coworkers would be supportive.
But the single mom was left feeling "disrespected, baffled and highly upset" when her manager, citing dress code requirements, told her she could not wear the hijab at work.
"Once I clocked in, the manager said 'Take off anything that doesn't involve Chicken Express,' which I knew he was talking about my hijab," Coleman told CNN...
Coleman returned to work on Tuesday, after the store owner called to apologize for the manager's behavior. However, she said she was still harassed by coworkers who did not support her decision to wear a hijab.
"Stefanae agreed to come to work but due to the overall negative hostile atmosphere at work she couldn't stay and decided to leave," said Faizan Syed, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Texas. The civil rights group is representing Coleman in the matter.
The experience has left Coleman "uncomfortable" and reconsidering her employment with Chicken Express, Coleman said.
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