Young woman who said Chipotle’s deputy director took off her hijab speaks

LENEXA, Kan. (WDAF) – A teenage girl working at Chipotle said her manager took off her hijab at work. Now this man is fired and could face criminal charges.

It happened in July, and now the young woman is speaking. WDAF-TV spoke to her on Tuesday about how she felt raped, and the teenager hopes the talking will prevent this from happening to someone else.

Chipotle in Lenexa is recruiting. Recently, they lost two employees. One was fired and another resigned.

Areej Saifan said his deputy director removed his hijab from his head.

“He kept asking to see my hair,” she said. “I kept telling him to stop and no, and I just tried to ignore him. So I went back to work, and he just came up behind me, pulled my scarf, and I really have no idea what anybody would do, like do that.

It happened in July. The 19-year-old WOMAN said she immediately informed her parents and the CEO. For days she said she hadn’t heard anything.

” He laughed. He was laughing about it like it was something funny, ”Saifan said. “When I was just shocked. I just turned around and looked at him like what just happened?

She said a colleague of her defended her for the time being and told the man never to do it again. She works with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Kansas, which helped her get a lawyer and a response from Chipotle.

“We have to make sure this never happens to anyone in the workplace again,” said Moussa Elbayoumy of CAIR Kansas. “We will take all necessary measures. The first step was to obtain legal representation to represent her, and we have already filed the charge with the EEOC, the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission and will await the investigation.

Saifan has also filed a report with Lenexa Police and is awaiting their investigation. She hopes her experience will teach others that it is important to speak up if you experience discrimination in the workplace.

“I want people to understand that this is not the right thing to do,” she said. “I don’t want this to happen to me or especially to anyone else. Of course, you know, it’s not just about being respectful to fellow Muslims, to any religion, to anyone, everyone has different religious beliefs and choices. And you have to respect the fact that you have to adapt to that. “

Chipotle fired the deputy manager and said in a statement: “We have a zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination and we fired the employee in question almost two weeks ago following a thorough investigation “.

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