The Toronto Star – February 10, 2011
A young Markham, Ontario woman who works as an esthetician claims she was fired for wearing an Islamic headscarf because the salon “promotes hair.” Mehwish Ali, a 22-year-old esthetician was fired a day after she says the co-owner told her the hijab was unacceptable.
“I was devastated when I heard that,” Ali told the Star. “I have worn the hijab for more than 10 years and never felt any kind of discrimination.” The co-owner of the franchise near Highway 401 and Brock Rd, categorically denies that. “This is a performance issue, strictly a performance issue,” he said.
Ali disagrees and has turned to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for help.
She said she wore a headscarf for the interview, which was conducted by the store manager. A week later, Ali was hired and her job entailed doing facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing services. It had nothing to do with hair, she pointed out.