|The owner of a hair salon is being sued for religious discrimination for refusing to hire a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf.|
Sarah Desrosiers, 32, says she turned down Bushra Noah as a junior stylist to maintain the image of her salon, which specialises in "urban, funky" cuts.
She told Miss Noah, 19, she needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public. But the devout Muslim insisted that wearing her headscarf was essential to her beliefs.
Miss Desrosiers, who set up the Wedge salon in King's Cross, North London, 18 months ago, says she faces financial ruin if she loses the case.
She denies any discrimination and insists it is an "absolutely basic" job requirement that cus-Yesterday, Miss Desrosier said: "When a potential client walks past on the street, they look into a salon at the stylists to get an impression of what haircut they are going to get there.
"The image I have built my salon on is very urban, funky, punky. That is the look I am going for.
"If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat I would ask them to remove it at work.
"It has nothing to do with religion. But I now feel like I have been branded a racist. My name is being dragged through the mud."
It sounds reasonable and given it is one of those chic chic places, stylists showing off their chic chic hair is a job requirement. For the girl to scream religious discrimination especially after you read this part.
|"On the phone, Sarah sounded very keen on me because of my experience and qualifications. I sent her my CV and she invited me in a few days later for a trial day.|
"But when I got there, she looked at me in shock. She started making excuses about wanting someone who lived locally but I knew it was my headscarf.
"She said, 'You really should have told me that you wear a headscarf'. She asked if I wore it all the time and I said, 'Yes'. She asked if I would take it off for work and I said, 'No'.
"Wearing a headscarf is very important in my religion and is non-negotiable. It is about showing your modest side."
Miss Noah added: "I am Britishborn and I know the urban, funky look. Just because I wear a headscarf does not mean I do not follow the latest trends and fashions.
"Afterwards, I felt so devastated and depressed. It has always been my ambition to be a hairdresser but I have given up now after being rejected 25 times.
"It is always because of my headscarf, whether they say it or not.
"I just thought that Sarah should not be allowed to get away with it and that if I don't stand up for myself, no one else will."
If someone gets rejected 25 times and decides I am just going to sue the last person because she made me feel bad, the case should be kicked out of tribunal. But how do you get rejected 25 times without someone asking maybe its not them but you?