40-year-old Jennifer Giordano, a breast cancer patient, is filing a case against the Motor Vehicle Commission in Eatontown, New Jersey. The woman claims that an employee of the MVC refused to renew her driver’s license until she “takes that thing off,” referring to Giordano’s headscarf to take a new photograph for the license.

The incident took place on the afternoon of June 14. Giordano needed to have her license renewed in order to register for classes at Ocean County College to pursue her career in nursing while being treated for cancer.

Giordano is suing the agency for alleged discrimination which caused her emotional distress.

She also cited that according to state law, people with medical treatment are allowed to use old pictures to be used for renewing licenses.

The New Jersey MVC reportedly declined to make any comments regarding the matter.

The challenges of a cancer patient

Giordano never felt comfortable being outside of her home without a cover on her head. The chemotherapy treatment she’s been getting caused her hair to fall out which is why she has worn a wig and eventually switched to headscarves.

When the employee of the MVC told her to take her headscarf off, it was in front of many people. Thankfully, another employee intervened and took Giordano’s documents and processed her license using an old photograph.

Giordano explained to the manager of the agency what has happened after receiving her renewed license. The manager agreed that it was allowed to use old photographs for new licenses of people undergoing medical treatment. In addition, the manager said that wearing headscarves are allowed religious reasons as well.

The cancer patient pointed at the first employee and said, “Clearly, she doesn’t know that,” according to a report by USA Today.

Motor Vehicle Commission employees know their policies

Giordano is suing the agency to ensure that employees are aware of their policies. Apparently, this incident in the New Jersey MVC is not the first time it has happened. In 2015, a cancer patient named Joanne Jodry was not allowed to renew her license using an old picture.

However, she was only told to take a new picture wearing her headscarf.

According to Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch, Giordano’s attorneys, the agency should not have harassed their client in this way because of her disability. The attorneys cited that it was “appalling and illegal.”