LENEXA, Kan. — Chipotle confirms it has fired an assistant manager at a Kansas City-area restaurant less than a month after an employee reported that he tried to remove her hijab.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind and we terminated the employee in question nearly two weeks ago following a thorough investigation,” Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said in a statement.
In a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a 19-year-old woman reported the incident happened August 9, 2021, as she closed a Chipotle restaurant located near W. 87th Street and Maurer in Lenexa.
According to the complaint, the assistant manager harassed her for more than two months when he continually asked her to remove her hijab so he could see her hair. She reportedly explained to him that she wears the headscarf because she is Muslim and for religious reasons could not remove it.
On August 9, the woman said the assistant manager walked up behind her and tried to pull off her hijab. According to the complaint, she used pins to hold the hijab in place, but the assistant manager pulled on it and exposed some of her hair.
“I was shocked, humiliated and scared,” the victim wrote in the complaint filed with the EEOC. “[Name redacted] was laughing and smirking. I quickly went to the office to fix my headscarf. When I returned from the office [name redacted] was still laughing and I told him it was not funny.”
The victim said she immediately texted two managers and reported the incident. The next day she notified the company that she would be quitting on August 24.
The Lenexa Police Department confirms that a police report was filed. The department is still investigating the incident and says no one has been arrested or charged at this point.