University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Boudlal v. Disney EE-CA-0353
Docket / Court 8:12-cv-01306-DOC-AN ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
In August 2012, a 28 year old female plaintiff, a naturalized United State citizen of Moroccan origin and an adherent of the Muslim faith, brought this suit against Walt Disney Company in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The suit was brought under title VII of 42 U.S. ... read more >
In August 2012, a 28 year old female plaintiff, a naturalized United State citizen of Moroccan origin and an adherent of the Muslim faith, brought this suit against Walt Disney Company in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The suit was brought under title VII of 42 U.S.C § 2000e (discrimination and harassment in employment on the basis of religion, national origin and color and failure to remedy and prevent harassment), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, etc. In this case, it is alleged that Disney discharged the plaintiff who worked as a hostess at a cafe in a complex operated by Disney because she complained about repeated ethnic and religious slurs from her colleagues and also wore a hijab for her sincere religious faith. The plaintiff asked for: (a) a declaration that Disney's actions constitute illegal harassment and discrimination; (b) an order enjoining Disney from enforcing its policy or practice of prohibiting employees who are adherents of the Muslim faith from wearing hijab while in positions involving interaction with customers unless such hijabs are concealed by a hat or other object; (c) training of Disney employees and managers regarding harassment and discrimination; and (d) damages.

The allegation states that the plaintiff began working as a hostess at the Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, a part of Walt Disney complex in Anaheim, California. During her work, she suffered from repeated slurs, e.g. "terrorist", "camel", and "Kunta Kinte," the slave from the famous book Roots by Alex Haley. Her co-workers also mocked her by stating that Arabs are terrorists, that she speaks the terrorist language and that she was trained to make bombs. She repeatedly reported the harassment to her managers but they never took action.

In 2010, after two years of working at Disney, she began wearing a hijab permanently in accord with her religious beliefs. She asked her supervisors for permission, but they denied it since it would violate Disney's "look" policy. Disney suggested that she either (1) work in the rear of the restaurant where she would not be exposed to customers, or (2) wear several hats on top of her hijab. She refused and Disney discharged her from further employment.

On March 3, 2014, the parties submitted a joint stipulation to dismiss the case, and the court issued an order granting a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Kowa Takata - 10/28/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Parks
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
State Anti-Discrimination Law
Defendant(s) Walt Disney Corporation
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is an individual, naturalized United States citizen of Moroccan origin and an adherent o the Muslim faith.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
8:12−cv−01306 (C.D. Cal.) 03/03/2014
EE-CA-0353-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Damages 08/13/2012
EE-CA-0353-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint For Damages 09/13/2012
EE-CA-0353-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order To Dismiss Action With Prejudice 03/03/2014 (C.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0353-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Carter, David O. (C.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0353-0003 | EE-CA-0353-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Richardson, Anne (California)
EE-CA-0353-0001 | EE-CA-0353-0002 | EE-CA-0353-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
EE-CA-0353-0001 | EE-CA-0353-0002 | EE-CA-0353-9000
Salahi, Reem (California)
EE-CA-0353-0001 | EE-CA-0353-0002 | EE-CA-0353-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Felicia A. (California)
EE-CA-0353-9000
Zapp, James A (California)
EE-CA-0353-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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