CareNow Regrets Headscarf Incident

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    A Texas health clinic operator said it regrets telling a Muslim doctor applying for a job that she couldn't wear her traditional headscarf and will clarify its policy regarding religious accommodations for employees.

    Dr. Hena Zaki has said she was shocked when CareNow officials told her last month in person and later by e-mail that a no-hat policy extended to her headscarf, also called a hijab.

    Coppell-based CareNow, which has nearly two dozen minor emergency clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, called the headscarf ban a misunderstanding and said it plans to train workers to prevent confusion in the future.

    "We look forward to sitting down with Dr. Zaki and discussing potential job opportunities. Bright, young doctors like her are just what we're looking for," CareNow President Tim Miller said in a statement released on Saturday.

    The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote to CareNow, explaining federal law requires employers to reasonably accommodate religious practices of an employee.

    "We are pleased that all current and future CareNow employees will have their legal right to religious accommodation acknowledged and respected," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper on Monday.

    Zaki, of Plano, had been on a tour of a CareNow clinic in the northern Dallas suburb of Allen when regional medical director Dr. Martin Jones told her he didn't want her to be surprised during orientation that a no-hat policy extended to her headscarf. After she e-mailed CareNow's human resources department asking about the policy, medical director Dr. Marc Anduss responded that it was correct.

    Zaki has not yet decided if she'll pursue a job with CareNow, said her husband, Rehan Zaki.

    "Our main goal was to make sure that in these types of situations, that there is a strict religious accommodation in the employee handbook," he said.