In Landmark Civil Rights Win, SCOTUS Rules Against Abercrombie

by Sarah Lazare – Top court says retail giant unlawfully denied Samantha Elauf a job for wearing a hijab In what is being heralded as a far-reaching win for civil rights, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled (pdf) that an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store in Oklahoma unlawfully discriminated against a Muslim job applicant by rejecting her for a sales position because she wore a hijab. In an 8-1 decision, the court sided with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which levied the suit on behalf of Samantha Elauf. Elauf was denied a sales associate position at a Tulsa Abercrombie & Fitch store in 2008—when she was 17-years-old—after she showed up for the interview in a hijab. The company’s official reason was that Elauf’s head scarf violated its “look policy” at the time. However, Elauf charged that the rejection amounted to religious discrimination. After Elauf complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity...

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