Somali workers walk off job in dress code dispute 06 Jun 12

LE CENTER, Minn. (AP) – A new dress code at a company in Le Center prompted some Somali workers to walk off the job because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

The new policy at Dianne’s Fine Desserts restricts dresses that hang below the knee. The company says the new policy is due to  safety concerns. Somali women were told to either change out of their burqa or leave. Eleven women chose the latter and were joined by about 20 Somali men.

The company’s new owner, Mike Knowles, says there was an incident recently in which a woman’s long dress got caught in a footwear washer.

The Faribault Daily News says some Islamic workers say the dress rule was changed to force them off the job because of their religious beliefs.

Information from: Faribault Daily News, http://www.faribault.com