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Former Disneyland employee says she was the victim of discrimination

Whether you live in Denver or elsewhere, employers around the United States cannot discriminate against employees based on their religion, race, color, gender or national origin. Despite such laws being in place, employers may not always comply, even some of the largest corporations in the world.

A complaint has been filed against the Walt Disney Co. by a former employee who says that she faced religious discrimination and harassment. The woman worked as a hostess at a restaurant in Disneyland. She says managers refused to allow her to wear a head covering and did nothing when coworkers made disparaging remarks.

The woman, who is of the Muslim faith, had worked at the park for two years. In 2010, she asked her managers if she could wear a head covering. Her managers denied her request. They even went so far as to say that the head covering "would negatively affect patrons' experiences." She was further told that she would be forced to work in the back of the restaurant or would be required to wear a hat if she wore the head covering to work.

Officials with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts say that the woman was given other options. They say she was offered the opportunity to work in other parts of the park where she would be allowed to wear a head covering.

According to the complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on her behalf, the woman declined those options and was no longer scheduled for work at the park.

No one should have to face discrimination, especially in the workplace. People who believe they are victims of workplace discrimination would be wise to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether moving forward with a lawsuit is appropriate.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Disney Sued by Former Employee," Erica Orden, Aug. 13, 2012

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