Supreme Court to hear Abercrombie ‘headscarf’ case

02/23/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Washington – The Supreme Court is hearing a case involving allegations that clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch was acting discriminatory in hiring practices by refusing to hire a 17-year-old Muslim girl over her headscarf. As reported by Business Insider, the primary issue being discussed is whether the company was in violation of a law that prohibits discrimination in hiring workers based on their religious practices.

The case of Samantha Elauf, who is now a fashion blogger in her 20s, applied for a job at an Abercrombie store in Oklahoma when she was 17. According to a complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a manager indicated that wearing the headscarf she wore for religious purposes would not be permitted by the company for any reason because it violated the company’s “look policy.”

As noted by Business Insider, Abercrombie modified the policy to permit wearing headscarves following the EEOC filing.

The company is quoted as stating in brief, “Abercrombie expends a great deal of effort to ensure that its target customers receive a holistically brand-based, sensory experience… To Abercrombie, a Model who violates the Look Policy by wearing inconsistent clothing ‘inaccurately represents the brand, causes consumer confusion, fails to perform an essential function of the position, and ultimately damages the brand.”

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