Muslim hairdresser’s â€˜hurt feelings’ leads to a Â£4,000 payout
GHASTLY news – the owner of a London hair salon has been ordered to pay Â£4,000 compensation to a Muslim stylist who was turned down for a job because she wears a headscarf. (See earlier Freethinker report here).
Bushra Noah accused Sarah Desrosiers of religious discrimination when she failed to offer her a job at her Wedge salon in King’s Cross, central London, last year – and yesterday, according to the BBC, an employment tribunal awarded her the cash after finding that she had been the victim of “indirect discrimination.”
The 19-year-old wanted a whole lot more: Â£35,000 in fact, but the tribunal rejected her religious discrimination claim.
Desrosiers said she needed stylists to showcase alternative hairstyles – but, as the photo shows – Noah is a far cry from trendiness personified.
During the hearing Noah, who lives in Acton, west London, told the tribunal that she was “devastated” that she was not offered the job of assistant stylist “due to my headscarf”.
Desrosiers, 32, told the panel that Ms Noah lived too far away, but was persuaded to give her an interview in May last year.
When the applicant arrived for the interview she claimed the Canadian-born salon owner was clearly shocked by the fact she wore a headscarf.
Said Desrosiers after the verdict:
I never in a million years dreamt that somebody would be completely against the display of hair and be in this industry. I don’t feel I deserve it.
She added that she expected expected her staff to reflect the “funky, urban” image of her salon.
The panel found that Ms Noah had been badly upset by the 15-minute interview, and awarded her Â£4,000 damages for “injury to feelings”.
In its judgment, the panel stated:
We were satisfied by the respondent’s evidence that the claimant was not treated less favourably than the respondent would have treated a woman who, whether Muslim or not, for a reason other than religious belief wears a hair covering at all times when at work.
There was no specific evidence before us as to what would (for sure) have been the actual impact of the claimant working in her salon with her head covered at all times.
Noah originally wanted Â£15,000, but upped that to Â£35,000 after claiming that her action against Desrosiers had resulted in her receiving hate mail.
Earlier at the hearing Desrosiers said she faced financial ruin if she lost, but that she did not regret her decision. And she pointed out that she could not be blamed for the hate mail.
Noah has refused to comment on the matter.
With free money like this available, don’t be surprised to see lengthy queues of Muslims suffering “hurt feelings” forming outside lawyers’ offices throughout the land.
BREAKING NEWS: Benidorm star Johnny Vegas had his feelings hurt when he was turned down for a job modelling sexy men’s briefs. He is suing Calvin Klein for thousands. No, not really, just pointing out how ludicrous the Bushra Noah case was.
UPDATE: The case has set Nullifidian wondering what other unsuitable jobs for Muslims they might apply for, then sue if they fail to get them. Nullidian has come up with a very amusing list.