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Muslim woman wins court case against Abercrombie & Fitch for discrimination against Hijab

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a Muslim woman who was denied a job because of her hijab.

According to a BBC report, clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch Co refused to hire Samantha Elauf because her dress violated the clothing retailer’s “Look Policy” for sales staff.

Ms Elauf wore a hijab at her interview but did not say she was a Muslim.

But Justice Antonin Scalia said the retailer “at least suspected” that she wore a headscarf for religious reasons and she did not need to make a request.

US law requires that employers must “reasonably accommodate” an employee’s religious beliefs, as long as it does not provide an undue hardship to the business.

Supreme Court Hears Case Involving Abercrombie & Fitch And Religious Wardrobe Discrimination

“I was a teenager who loved fashion and was eager to work for Abercrombie & Fitch,” said Ms Elauf in a statement after the court released its decision.

Ms Elauf was 17 years old when the discrimination occurred during a job interview at a shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2008.

“Observance of my faith should not have prevented me from getting a job. I am glad that I stood up for my rights”, she said.

In an 8-1 verdict, the court ruled that Abercrombie had violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on religious beliefs and practices.

Groups representing Jews, Sikhs, Christian, gay, and lesbian rights organisations filed papers in court in solidarity with Ms Elauf, who told reporters she sought to protect the rights of people of all faiths at work.

In 2013 Abercrombie & Fitch Co settled with two American Muslim women who were targeted by management for their use of the hijab. Each woman was awarded $71,000 (£47,000).

Abercrombie & Fitch Co has since reversed its policy on headscarves.

Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed the “historic” ruling.

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: “We welcome this historic ruling in defense of religious freedom at a time when the American Muslim community is facing increased levels of Islamophobia.

“We applaud Samantha’s courage in standing up for her rights by contacting CAIR, which led to the EEOC lawsuit and to our amicus brief filed with the court.

CAIR’s Senior Staff Attorney William Burgess added: “The Supreme Court rightly underscored that a job applicant’s religious beliefs and practices must play no role in an employer’s hiring decision.

“A company engages in illegal employment discrimination when it decides not to hire someone out of a desire to avoid accommodating his or her religious needs, confirmed or not.”

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5 Comments

  1. She is a member of a dangerous and violent organization and as such should be looked on with suspicion. A member of the KKK would not be allowed to wear her robe and hood to work, neither should one be allowed to wear a hijab.

    1. How can u compare someone belief to a group of racists…with all due respect u r simple minded.BTW u r not better than anybody just like nobody is better than u! CanisRattuslmperator

    2. You represent the example of today’s blind citizen. Brainwashed by the media… Do you know her to say that she is a member of a dangerous organization? The muslim population is allmost 2 billion and to put them all on general suspicion is racism at it’s best and absolutly wrong. How can you expect to achieve something that’s called peace with a view and opinion like that. Some people simply can not learn from the past

      1. First, Islam is not a race and therefore one cannot be racist against Muslims.
        Second, Islam has been violent and expansionist since the coming of the false prophet Mohamed.
        Third, there can be no peace with Islam so long as there is one Muslim willing to faithfully follow the teachings and example of the false prophet.

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