Ivy Hall Assisted Living, LLC agreed to pay $43,000 and other non-monetary relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Khadija Ahdaoui a Muslin employed by Ivy Hall. According to details in the lawsuit Ivy Hall discriminated against Ahdaoui in her housekeeping job by firing her rather than accommodating her religious belief that she wear a Muslim head scarf ("hijab").
Court documents claim Ivy Hall insisted that as a condition of her continued employment, Ahdaoui remove and refrain from wearing her hijab on the job. When she refused, she was terminated. What is alleged is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires that employers make an effort to accommodate employees’ and applicants’ sincerely held religious beliefs. The accommodation is this case was very minor and Ivy Halls response to the accommodation was insensitive.
“Title VII protects employees from having to make the choice Ms. Ahdaoui was forced to make between her religious beliefs and her employment,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office.