What happens when you wear a Burqa to work?

The Retro Lounge Podcast Series
[Original air date: 05.06.2010]

In addition to The Recruiters Lounge, Jim and Karen produced a mini-series called “HR Smackdown” where we tackled the most controversial HR issues. It was short-lived because we decided to just incorporate those topics into our regular podcast. Anyways, this episode is from our HR Smackdown series and it was (as promised) quite controversial. Here is the original description.


Jim and Karen fight like cats and dogs over Burqas in the workplace. Karen thought it was fine. Jim, not so much… And what was intended as a 15 segment turned into an hour long verbal slugfest! Still, even with all that, Jim and Karen managed to cite other stories in the news like the Arizona controversy and Recruiters who landed in hot water after pursuing (what they thought) was easy money. (Who thought charging people for job seeker assistance could go so horribly wrong?) Tune into the podcast drama that is – The HR Smackdown.

A few highlights from the podcast:

02:14 – Do you like 4 letter words?
02:33 – Do you need a public speaker for your next meeting or event?
05:00 – If it hasn’t happened in your office yet…
08:42 – Will the dash in front of our names ever go away? Will we just be American?
14:04 – Illegal immigrants.. Hispanic, Indian and Korean
19:22 – What’s going to make him or her “look” illegal?
25:38 – Do you have the right to change your religion from Baptist to Catholic?
31:20 – Can I put in my Employee Handbook that women have to wear the Hooters uniform and not a Burqa?
37:45 – So he’s a good terrorist because he has a heart now?
41:10 – Can you tell me one incident that a woman in a Burqa killed someone in the workplace?
47:08 – It doesn’t take a Burqa to commit a crime
54:00 – I would have it in my employee handbook that you could not wear something that hides your entire identity.
56:30 – We talk and argue like this all the time

Tune in to hear a lively debate as it was originally aired on 05.06.2010. How have things changed since then? Please leave a comment below. 

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