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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.

Ashley Post

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