Muslim woman files complaint against Disneyland

Listen to story

Download this story 0.0MB

A Muslim employee is accusing Disneyland of discriminating against her by not letting her wear a headscarf on the job. Imane Boudlal has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She has worked as a hostess at a hotel restaurant in Anaheim’s Disney Resort.

Boudlal decided Sunday to start wearing her hijab head covering to work in observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. She says her employer sent her home without pay.

Boudlal says she kept trying to wear the head covering to work on subsequent days, but she says her boss sent her home without pay each time.

So, with the backing of the UNITE HERE Local 11 union, she’s filed a discrimination complaint.

A Disneyland spokeswoman says the restaurant tried to accommodate with a different work assignment, but the hostess declined. Boudlal says her employer told her she could work out of view from customers.

Disneyland maintains that the resort has a policy against discrimination of any kind. The park’s spokeswoman says the union is distorting the facts of the case.

UNITE HERE and the Disney resort have battled over how much workers should contribute to their health care.

Several months ago, Boudlal, who is Arab, applied for U.S. citizenship, Shelton said, adding her lessons on the First Amendment changed the way she started thinking about the issue.

Disneyland officials said they were working to accommodate Boudlal's request.

"We have been working directly with her on accommodations,'' Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said. "In the interim, we offered reasonable accommodations to allow her to work during her scheduled shifts, which she declined.''

Wire services contributed to this report.