Disney movies are something very familiar to Kansas City homes, whether an adult grew up watching them or a parent shares them with their child. These movies celebrate the diversity in the world. Young girls idolize princesses like Mulan, Jasmine and even the lioness Nala who are of different faiths and come from different cultures.
While Disney movies may celebrate women from every culture, some wonder if Walt Disney Corp. follows its own message. A young woman who works at a Disneyland resort claims that she was discriminated against based on her religion and was forced to suffer in a hostile work environment.
This woman was threatened by her co-workers who called her a “terrorist” and said she was nothing more than a “camel.” Co-workers blamed her and said that she must have learned how to make bombs in a mosque. When she tried to alert her superiors to these threats, they went unanswered. When she tried to make them even clearer through written complaints, they still went unanswered.
Later, when she became more devout and wanted to wear her head scarf at the workplace, she was told that she could wear it if she remained out of sight from the public. Should she choose to keep the position she was currently in, she was told that she had to either remove it or cover it up with a different hat — like another employee was forced to do.
When the 24-year-old woman refused, standing up for her religious rights, her employment was terminated. She later filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and this month received a notice of right to sue.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Muslim employee’s suit accuses Disney of bias over head scarft,” Kate Mather, Aug. 13, 2012
If you have been forced to suffer religious discrimination in the workplace, our Kansas City website provides more information on your rights.