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MUSLIM WOMAN PREVAILS VS. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH

August 4, 2016 | Posted in: Discrimination

The Ohio Employment Lawyers at The Friedmann Firm found this recent decision against Abercrombie & Fitch very interesting.  Abercrombie & Fitch is headquarted here in Columbus and is frequently in the news, lately for declining sales numbers.  Former CEO, Mike Jeffries, stepped down in 2013, after facing criticism for saying he only wanted “cool, good-looking” people to wear Abercrombie’s clothes.  In fact, the company did not offer plus-size clothing until late in 2013. It may come as no surprise then, that Abercrombie was recently sued by a Muslim woman, who claimed she was not hired for a job at one of its stores because she interviewed in a hajib, a traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women.

Samantha Elauf, who was denied a job at Abercrombie & Fitch in 2008, recently took her case to the Supreme Court of the United States and received a favorable ruling.  Ms. Elauf applied for a job at one of Abercrombie’s stores in Okalahoma, only to be told that she could not be hired because the hajib she was wearing during the interview, violated the company’s policy against “caps.”  Although Ms. Elauf wore the hajib during the interview, she never actually asked Abercrombie to “accommodate her” by allowing her to wear it while working.  The Justices ruled almost unanimously in favor of Ms. Elauf when the Court held, “an employer make not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.”

For more information on this decision, check out this article written by the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/supreme-court-rules-in-samantha-elauf-abercrombie-fitch-case.html?_r=0

The Friedmann Firm handles all types of employment cases, including those involving religious discrimination.  If you have questions about this case or another matter, please visit our FAQ page  http://www.thefriedmannfirm.com/services/faqs.html or contact our Cleveland employment lawyers today.