NJ Woman Files Henna Lawsuit

Camden (NJ) resident Althea Saunders (53) has sued Cooper University Hospital alleging that she was wrongfully disciplined for wearing Henna markings on her hand.

Henna (made from dried leaves of the Henna plant) is widely used by Hindu and Muslim women to decorate their hands and feet.

The orange decorations from Henna usually disappear a few weeks after application.

Henna Complaint

In the complaint filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Camden, Saunder, a Muslim, charges the hospital, where she worked as a receptionist, with violating her right to exercise her religion freely.

The complaint alleges that after the Henna markings were noticed by supervisors, Saunders “began to receive negative performance evaluations from her supervisors, although in the past she had always received positive evaluations.”

Saunders’ complaint alleges Cooper University Hospital violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which bars employers from discriminating based on religion or forcing those of faith to violate their religious beliefs as a “condition of obtaining or retaining employment.”

Saunders is asking for a jury trial and seeking damages, attorney’s fees, lawsuit fees, and prejudgment and post-judgment interest.

Just wondering if there’s ever been a lawsuit in New Jersey over the bindi (a colorful dot on the forehead) that’s extremely popular among Hindu women.

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