One female Army soldier is making waves after she was demoted for being in violation of the dress code and decided to turn her mistake into a lawsuit.
Spc. Cesilia Valdovinos faced repercussions after she was caught with her hair hanging loosely. Female Army members are required to keep their hair in a bun out of safety concerns. Which is only fair as the men are required to buzz their hair to keep it out of the way.
But Valdovinos is turning the issue into a civil rights case, because she wears a hijab.
The Army Times gave a full report of the story:
Following a rejected equal opportunity complaint and a demotion in rank, a Muslim soldier who has accused her Fort Carson, Colorado, leadership of religious discrimination is contemplating a federal lawsuit, her attorney confirmed to Army Times on Wednesday.
Spc. Cesilia Valdovinos, who was demoted this week following an unrelated Article 15 investigation, will file a complaint alleging violation of her civil rights either in northern Virginia or Denver, according to Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
“This is a pattern and practice of anti-Muslim bigotry, prejudice and harassment,” he said.
The 26-year-old culinary specialist’s story first went viral in mid-March, after she filed an EO complaint with her command based on an incident with her command sergeant major at the 704th Transportation Battalion.
The senior noncommissioned officer, believing that Valdovinos was wearing her hair down underneath her hijab ― rather than in a bun, per regulation ― demanded the soldier remove the head covering,
Her hair fell to her shoulders, Valdovinos told Army Times, because she uses the extra fabric in the cap to secure her bun. When she removes it, the bun falls out.