Muslim woman refuses to drop case on wearing headscarf to work
Even a state appeals court ruling that a lower court was correct in dismissing her lawsuit is not enough to stop a New Jersey woman from carrying on with her frivolous case. She is now taking it all the way to the State Supreme Court.
Linda Tisby became a Sunni Muslim in early 2015. She worked at the Camden County Correctional Facility since 2002. When she converted she started wearing her headscarf, called a khimar or hijab, on the job. Day after day she was told even though this was now her religion, she was in violation of the uniform policy. She refused to stop wearing it and she was eventually fired as a result.
The lower court ruled, and is now backed up by the appellate court, that allowing her to express her religion by wearing her khimar would be an "undue hardship" for the Department of Corrections "because of overriding safety concerns, the potential for concealment of contraband, and the importance of uniform neutrality." A spokesperson praised the ruling, saying allowing the wearing of the headscarf "would have compromised the health and welfare of all who work and stay in the facility." Her lawyers now say the plan is to take this to the State Supreme Court.
This is not just any job. This is a highly dangerous job where rules and uniformity must be followed. I'm sure some folks think if she's been working in the jail for over a decade they should know she's trustworthy and won't be hiding contraband to sneak to inmates. Can I remind those people even flight attendants and pilots have to pass through security at our nation's airports? There are certain times when accommodations for one's religion cannot be safely made. This is one of them. Is it hateful? Nope. It's logical. The Camden County Correctional Facility never told her she could not practice her religion. Simply put, this is one of those rare times a person has to chose between their job and their faith. Instead of putting on her big girl pants, Linda Tisby lawyered up.
I hope the Supreme Court sides with logic, but we've certainly seen our state's high court and logic part ways before.