Abercrombie & Fitch Fires an Employee for Wearing a Religious Hijab

According to the Wired News, a California Abercrombie & Fitch store is facing a discrimination lawsuit after an employee accused the retailer of unscrupulous and discriminating employment practices by suspending her for wearing a hijab headscarf at work for religious reasons.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the California employment lawsuit on behalf of a 20-year-old California college student. Hani Khan, accusing Abercrombie & Fitch of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as other state laws, which prohibit discrimination at work based on religious affiliations or racial discrimination.

Khan was hired and worked for four months at a California location before filing the complaint with the EEOC. Khan as working in the stockroom when a manager informed her that if she was going to wear a hijab she needed to wear one that matched store colors, and if she did not she would be in violation of the store’s look policy. A visiting district manager then told Khan to speak to a human resources manager who informed her that she needed to remove the head scarf while she was at work. Khan declined the request due to her religious convictions, which subsequently led her to suspension and dismissal from the company. Civil rights laws were enacted to protect Americans from enduring discrimination in society and the workplace. Abercrombie & Fitch unlawfully requested Khan to abandon her religious practices. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from workplace discrimination and harassment based on race, sex, age or disability.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorney