A woman landed a dental assistant position at a practice in Northern Virginia. She passed the interview process with flying colors, and the dentist thought she was a good fit until he learned the hard way how wrong his assumption was, when three days into the job, she had a nasty surprise in store.
When Najaf Khan saw that Fair Oaks Dental Care in Fairfax County was hiring, she was one of the first to apply. Her credentials qualified for the job, having recently finished training in dental assisting, and she walked into the interview, putting her best foot forward. Dr. Chuck Joo had no way of knowing that she was a Muslim or devout follower of Islam since she wasn’t wearing the religious garb and didn’t mention her beliefs, and he ultimately hired her without this important information.
Khan arrived for her first day of work wearing her medical scrubs and a smile and did what was expected of her. The second day was the same, and Joo had no complaints. However, on the third day, everything changed when he discovered who she really was.
After deceiving her employer into giving her job, Khan came to work wearing her hijab on her third day, ready to get into people’s mouths in the unsanitary garb. Dr. Joo asked her to remove her hijab and put on appropriate attire for the office, but Khan refused, insisting that it’s against her religion.
Evidently, not wearing it for her interview and first two work days wasn’t against her religion, but now that she was being told she couldn’t wear a hijab, it was a problem she professed to be passionate about. With sanitation and patient safety in mind, Dr. Joo offered her an ultimatum, saying she either follow the rules or leave.
“When I said that I would not compromise my religion for that, he held the door open for me and I walked out,” Khan told NBC Washington. It seems that Khan left the office and went straight to complain to The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about it, who quickly weighed in on the perceived injustice shown to this employee.
The Muslim group demanded the dentist give Khan her job back and make religious accommodations for her, but the office doesn’t seem to be backing down, and it shouldn’t. Dr. Joo said the only head coverings allowed in his practice are surgical hats and that he likes to keep his office religiously neutral, which goes for all faiths, and he won’t make an exception for Islam.
Complaining and making a victim out of herself was Khan’s plan all along. Otherwise, she would have been upfront about her Islamic faith and made it known from the beginning that she wanted to wear a hijab on the job. She said that if Joo did offer her position back, she wouldn’t take it, but that doesn’t sound like something she would have to worry about since he’s rightfully not giving into her.
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