The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Chipotle on behalf of Areej Saifan, an employee who claims her manager at the Lenexa, Kansas branch of the restaurant chain ripped off her hijab, the culmination of weeks of harassment.
The assistant manager continued to ask Saifan to remove her hijab, sometimes in front of other employees, about 10 to 15 times over a month, according to the lawsuit. The employee complained to a shift manager, who at least once asked the assistant manager to stop but violated Chipotle's policies by not reporting the alleged harassment to higher management, the lawsuit says. The harassment came to a head on Aug. 9, 2021, when the assistant manager allegedly "advanced on Saifan, reached out, grabbed her hijab, and yanked," causing part of it to come off and her hair to be exposed. The shift manager Saifan had complained to witnessed the incident, according to the lawsuit.
She resigned after the company failed to do anything about it, and here we are. Consider, all the obvious problems set aside, that the manager's assault would have meant she had hair down around food service: it's as if the racial and political dimensions of what he did protected him from what would normally be an unremarkable "fire the FDA regulation-breaker" situation.