Fast Food Worker Sent Home for Wearing Hijab

Illustration for article titled Fast Food Worker Sent Home for Wearing Hijab
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid (Getty Images)

A Chicken Express employee in Fort Worth, Texas was sent home after wearing her hijab to work. Apparently, the state all about the second amendment forgot to read up on the first one.


CNN reports that on Monday, Stefanae Coleman,22, arrived to her job at Chicken Express wearing her hijab. As a recent convert to Islam, she was excited to fully express her newfound beliefs. That excitement would soon turn to disappointment as she was told by her manager that she had to remove any garment that didn’t involve Chicken Express. Refusing to take off her hijab, Coleman was sent home shortly after arriving. She captured the exchange and posted it on Twitter.

Coleman was eventually paid for the hours missed and returned to work that Tuesday. Though, she would leave again after facing discomfort from employees who didn’t support her decision to wear her hijab. Rhett Warren, an attorney representing the Chicken Express franchisee said this:

“The manager’s decision to send Ms. Coleman home for wearing the headscarf was due to lack of training. The manager was using a strict interpretation of the company policy that does not allow deviations from the standard employee uniform and he unfortunately did not take religious liberty into consideration.”

I don’t know if this dude is dumb, Islamophobic or a combination of the two. I wouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination consider myself all that knowledgeable on Islam. I do know that the hijab isn’t something that is removed in public just from, you know, common knowledge. She probably wouldn’t be wearing it to work if it didn’t bear some significance to the religion she practices. When someone says “Hey, it’s part of my religion,” that should be a good enough answer. They love to cite the first amendment when they say something trifling on Twitter but never heard of it when it comes to practicing Muslims.

Also, why is it always the jobs that pay you jack shit that are the ones mad aggressive with the policies? As though that sweet sweet $7.25 should be enough to make you give up the things you most value. You need to at least be paying $20 an hour if you’re going to have the audacity to infringe on someone’s religious liberties.


Coleman, who it should be noted is a single mother, is currently debating on if she wants to return to work at Chicken Express. She says that there are “so many Chicken Expresses in Texas and they all allow people to wear hijabs with no problem. It was racism and discrimination... They’re just trying to sweep it under the rug.” I certainly hope she’s able to find much better employment in the near future.


The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



I wish everyone serving fast food would wear one, I wouldn’t get hairs in my fries.