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EEOC prevails in headscarf case against Abercrombie & Fitch

Retailer accused of not hiring Muslim teen who wore a hijab

On June 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won a lawsuit against retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, which allegedly declined to hire a Muslim teenager because she wore a religious headscarf, or hijab.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in September 2009, the EEOC claimed that when Samantha Elauf applied to a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in a Tulsa mall in June 2008, Abercrombie did not hire her because her hijab didn’t follow the company’s Look Policy, and therefore the company did not accommodate her religious beliefs.

A Tulsa federal judge found that Abercrombie did not prove that it would have sustained any significant negative impact on its business if it had accommodated Elauf. A jury will determine whether damages should be awarded during a trial tentatively scheduled for July 18.

The case isn’t the only discrimination action against Abercrombie. As recently as June 27, the EEOC filed a case on behalf of a former Abercrombie stockroom worker who was allegedly illegally fired for refusing to remove her headscarf at work.

Read more about the EEOC case in the Tulsa World.

Contributing Author

Ashley Post

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