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Denny's accused of workplace discrimination by Muslim ex employee

In a case outside Massachusetts, a former employee for Denny's restaurant alleges he was the victim of discrimination because of his religious beliefs. He claims that the workplace discrimination caused him to lose his job and has brought hardship to his family. The man says that he has been forced to live with his family in a homeless shelter because he was unable to keep up with his bills.

The plaintiff was a server on the night shift at Denny's in a southern state. At the end of his seven and one-half hour shifts, he claims that he netted $25 or less. He soon discovered that his co-workers were making more money during the day, so he requested to have his schedule changed to increase his income.

When the man asked about working in the day, he was purportedly told that he could not be seen wearing his kufi -- an Islamic head covering. Allegedly he was told that if he removed the kufi, he could work during the daytime hours. The plaintiff asserts that he refused to do so and later received a letter that stated his head covering was against the company dress code. He was given two weeks to comply and was told he would lose his job if he did not.

After the plaintiff received the letter, he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was fired from Denny's while the investigation was pending. A spokesperson for EYM Diner LLC -- the franchise owner of the Denny's where the plaintiff worked -- maintains that it has zero tolerance for workplace discrimination and that the letter had actually been drafted as a favor to the plaintiff by the night shift manager. The plaintiff seeks a judgment for monetary damages. Massachusetts employees should never be forced to decide between their jobs and their religious beliefs; those placed into that situation can seek legal recourse through the civil court system.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Muslim man says Ocala Denny's fired him over religious head covering", Adrienne Cutway, Oct. 2, 2015

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