‘The owner of an "alternative" London hair salon is being sued for religious discrimination after refusing to give a job to a Muslim woman who wanted to wear a headscarf at work.’
‘Sarah Desrosiers, whose Wedge salon specialises in "urban funky" cuts, says she turned down applicant Bushra Noah because she was "selling image" and needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public.
"I sell image – it’s very important – and I would expect a hair stylist to display her hair because I need people to be drawn in off the street," said Ms Desrosiers. "It’s the nature and style of my salon that brings people in and someone having their hair covered conflicts with that. If someone came in wearing a baseball hat or a cowboy hat I’d tell them to take it off while they’re working. To me, it’s absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist’s hair."
Ms Noah said today she had attended a total of 25 interviews for hairdressing jobs without success and had decided to take legal action because she had been upset by Ms Desrosiers’ comments. She said: "I decided to sue this hairdresser because she upset me the most. I felt so down and got so depressed, I thought if I am not going to defend myself, who is?
"When I spoke to her on the phone she offered me a trial day. But when I turned up she looked at me in shock. She asked if I wore the headscarf all the time. She kept repeating, ‘I wish you told me over the phone’. ‘
I am strongly opposed to discrimination. But It used to be the case, though may have changed that in law a say French restaurant could specify French speaking staff as it is fundamental to their image and offer. Where ever you come down on this though you have to treat people sensitively and respect their religious views.
Wedge tries really hard on a bit of the Cally that desperately needs modern businesses, let’s hope this gets resolved either way without driving them out of business.