Aadila is a practicing Muslim employed as a police officer by the City Police Office. She has been a police officer since 1998. In 2008, Aadila requested permission from her commanding officer to wear a headscarf while in uniform and on duty. The headscarf is a traditional headcovering worn by Muslim women. Aadila’s headscrarf would cover neither her face nor her ears, but would cover her head and the back of her neck.
Aadila’s request was denied under the City Police Office Directive 9 which prescribes the approved police uniforms and equipment. Nothing in Directive 9 permits the wearing of religious symbols or garb as part of the uniform.
Despite the denial of her request, Aadila arrived at work wearing a headscarf. She refused to removed it and was sent home for failing to comply with Directive 9. This continued over the course of 2 days at which time the commanding officer cautioned Aadila that her conduct could lead to disciplinary action for insubordination.
The next day, Aadila returned to work without a headscarf. Nonetheless, disciplinary charges were brought against her, resulting in her being place on a temporary, four-week suspension.
The City Police Office believes that any accommodation given Aadila would work an undue hardship and would undermine the importance of promoting the image of a disciplined and identifiable force that is free from expressions of personal religious beliefs or biases.
(1) What are the best arguments Aadila can advance in support of a claim based on religious discrimination against City Police Office?
(2) What are the best defenses City Police Office can raise?
(3) Describe one possible accommodation that the City Police Office might consider under these circumstances. Explain the “pros and cons” of the accommodation as a means to promote society’s interests in protecting religious freedom, in promoting diversity and in safeguarding the public. Aadila is a practicing Muslim employed as a police officer by the City Police Office