Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie in Hijab Case

The clothing chain declined to hire Samantha Elauf in 2008 as a sales associate because her hijab violated the company’s “look policy,” which at the time prohibited employees from wearing head coverings. Elauf was never informed of the “look policy.” Elauf filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Abercrombie, prompting the retailer to deny its policy was discriminatory because its ban prohibited all types of headgear and therefore was not based on religion. Abercrombie has since changed its “look policy” to allow for headgear, including hijabs, which are a type of headscarf. “The rule for disparate-treatment claims based on a failure to accommodate a religious practice is straightforward: An employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions,” the opinion said.



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