EEOC sues Abercrombie over Muslim head scarf!

Legal news information for Oklahoma employment attorneys. Lawsuit claims Abercrombie’s “Look Policy” would not allow religious head scarf.

Oklahoma employment lawyer alerts- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie Kids for denying the right to wear a hijab.

Tulsa, Ok—A teenager, who was hoping to be hired as a Abercrombie Kids employee, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit which alleges Abercrombie denied her the right to wear her religious head covering. Abercrombie reportedly told the teen her head scarf, also known as a hijab, violated the company’s “Look Policy.” The lawsuit was filed in the Oklahoma federal court, as reported by ABC News.

The plaintiff, Samantha Elauf, 17, was hoping to work at the Abercrombie Kids store at the Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa. During Elauf’s June 2008 interview, she was told “any head gear” violated Abercrombie’s strict “Look Policy,” and they would not make an exception for Elauf’s hijab on the grounds of religious reasons. Abercrombie’s “Look Policy” reportedly has strict guidelines that employees must follow, which range from dress, to the length of employee’s fingernails. The EEOC alleges Abercrombie violated the Title II of the Civil Rights Act, by denying Elauf the right to wear her hijab. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages on the teenager’s behalf. The compensatory damages allegedly would only amount to the pay Elauf would have received if she had been hired at the store. The suit is also asking Abercrombie to make exceptions to the company’s ridged “Look Policy” for any religious reasons.

An Abercrombie spokesperson said, “We have a strong equal opportunity employment policy and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible. We are confident that the litigation of this mall will demonstrate that we followed the law in every respect.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news information for Oklahoma employment lawyers.