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Politics & Government

Delaware state worker files discrimination claim

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Department of Services for Children Youth and Their Families state worker Madinah Brown in her hijab.

A state employee has filed an EEOC complaint alleging she is the target of discrimination because of her Muslim religion.

Madinah Brown has worked with youth at the New Castle County Detention Center since 2012.

She said she faces continuing discrimination because she practices her Muslim faith by wearing a head scarf, called a hijab, to work. She’s filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Delaware Department of Labor.

Brown said since July, she’s been prevented from working by supervisors at the Department of Services for Children Youth and Their Families because she’s shown up in her head scarf.

“Every day I’m scheduled and I’m told to go home unless I’m complying with taking off my hijab,” she said.

But she feels she shouldn’t have to compromise her religious beliefs.

“I mean, I feel like if I don’t do this right now and if I don’t stand up for myself and for other Muslims, I feel like this will continue,” she said.

Brown also claims she’s been retaliated against. She said she has been demoted and her pay reduced. She also alleges one of her supervisors referred to her as “looking like a terrorist.”

Children’s Department Secretary Josette Manning said they champion religious freedom. But in some jobs, requirements like restraining a minor makes the some clothing unsafe.

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