Muslim Sues Company for Religious Discrimination Over Beard

August 11, 2004

Source: The Guardian,2763,1280600,00.html

On August 11, 2004 The Guardian reported, "A Muslim man is demanding £20,000 damages from Virgin Trains for religious discrimination because he was allegedly ordered to trim his beard too short. Mohsin Mohmed claims that he was sacked from his job as customer service assistant at Euston station in London because he refused, even though he told his bosses he was required for religious reasons to have a beard at least one fist's length - about 10cm. The case is believed to be the first to reach an employment tribunal since a new law last December gave workers discriminated against because of their religion or beliefs the right to sue... In a written submission to Woburn Place employment tribunal, his lawyers said he had been offered the job after agreeing to trim his beard, which at the time was 20cm (8in) long. When he began in August last year he was given permission to wear a religious turban provided it was in the company colours, red or black. But his manager, David Adams, allegedly took exception to his beard and instructed him to trim it... Virgin strongly denies discriminating against Mr Mohmed and says he was dismissed at the end of his probationary period for poor performance."