A Muslim woman is suing the owner of a London hair salon for religious discrimination after she was refused a job for wearing a headscarf.
Bushra Noah was rejected for the post at the Wedge salon in King’s Cross, North London, after owner Sarah Desrosiers insisted that staff needed to display their own hairstyle to the public.
Noah, who said she had been rejected for 25 different hairdressing jobs after interviews, is suing Desrosiers for more than £15,000 for injury to feelings and an unspecified sum for lost earnings.
Desrosiers denied discrimination, insisting it was an “absolutely basic” job requirement that staff display their hairstyle while at work. “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,” she said.
“It has nothing to do with religion. If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat I would ask them to remove it at work,” Desrosiers added.
The case will be heard at the Central London Employment Tribunal in January.