Apr 2 2012
Allow someone who looks like this to work for you.
Croydon Guardian A Muslim was sacked on the first day of a new job at a phone shop because of his beard. Shahid Saleem, 21, from Croydon, has a beard for religious reasons and is now seeking legal advice after the discrimination he faced at Vodafone in Sutton High Street.
Mr Saleem turned up at the store on September 9, 2011 after being placed there (sight unseen) by the recruitment agency, Adecco.
He was taken to a room at the back of the store by the manager and told he could not work there because he had a beard. Mr Saleem asked to see the dress code to see whether Vodafone had an official policy which requires a worker to be clean shaven. However, his request was refused and he claimed he was escorted to the door and told to speak to his job agency. (You can be sure there will be a dress code now)
Mr Saleem said: “Throughout the whole time [the store manager] was talking to me, he spoke to me condescendingly in public in front of a Vodafone employee, which completely demoralised and upset me as well as causing me distress. (Oh, Boo Hoo! You look like a terrorist)
“He did not mention anything at all about my clothes; he only stated that he did not want me working with him if I had a beard.” “What [the store manager] did was blatant discrimination, and discrimination is this country is illegal, especially in regards to the work place.” (It isn’t discrimination when your appearance is frightening to customers)
Mr Saleem is still affected by the experience; he said he felt disrespected and that no-one in his life had treated him in this way. (I have an idea, go work in Pakistan)
After inquiring the company dress code, the store manager contacted Adecco on the same day to confirm that Mr Saleem could return without removing his beard. (Stupid) However, Mr Saleem, who prays five times a day, said he would not feel comfortable returning to the store which had already discriminated against him once. (Just what the store needs, an asslifter praying several times a day outside the store)
Vodafone investigated Mr Saleem’s complaint and sent him an explanation and apology. They said the store manager felt Mr Saleem’s appearance was “rather scruffy and not business appropriate” but admitted he focused on discussing Mr Saleem’s beard rather than the rest of his appearance. (He looks like a bag man)
The store manager was subsequently enrolled on a training course to help him to understand more about diversity and about Vodafone’s approaches and policies. (Oh great, British re-education camps for Christians)
“Mr Saleem did not accept the position offered in our retail store in September. We also made it clear to Mr Saleem that we would very much like him to join us at a later date if a position arises that suits him. (Moron)
“The manager decided that Mr Saleem was a suitable candidate to work in our store and we asked him return to the store the same day to start work. Unfortunately, Mr Saleem felt unable to do so. (Lucky for you) “We have apologised to Mr Saleem as we felt that the situation could have been better handled.” (Schmuck)