A San Francisco federal judge has ruled in favor of an ex-employee from retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s San Mateo Hollister store after the employee was allegedly fired for wearing a headscarf. The judge claimed the company violated anti-discrimination laws when they fired the employee for wearing a hijab. Abercrombie claimed the scarf violated its policy that requires employees to dress a certain way for its marketing strategy.
Abercrombie argued that allowing the employee to wear the headscarf would damage sales. The ruling judge said the company offered no “credible evidence” that sales would be affected by the headscarf.
A trial on Abercrombie’s liability is set for late September and the judge said the jury is allowed to award punitive damages.
Abercrombie & Fitch has come under fire in numerous lawsuits recently, including one filed by black, Hispanic and Asian employees that settled for $40 million in 2004. From this, the company was made to enforce new programs and policies to diversify their employees.
Discrimination in the workplace based on race or religion is illegal, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the Abercrombie employee’s lawsuit on their behalf. The EEOC also states that employers have to reasonably accommodate religious practices of employees, including allowing employees to wear religious garments.
If you have been wrongfully terminated based on racial or religious discrimination, contact our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys today.
Did You Know: Companies cannot discriminate against an applicant or interviewee based on their religious preferences.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys