Supreme Court Backs Woman in Hijab Discrimination Case

Updating a blog post we brought you in March, the Supreme Court ruled recently that Abercrombie & Fitch violated religious discrimination laws when it refused to hire a Muslim teenager who wore a hijab. Photo of discrimination definition

According to National Public Radio, the Supreme Court rejected arguments from the retailer that it did not allow the girl to wear the hijab because it does not allow any employee to wear a cap, deeming them “too informal.”

Additionally, the Supreme Court rejected arguments that Samantha Elauf’s dress did not fit the image the retailer portrays. In announcing its decision, Justice Antonin Scalia said the case was straightforward. Under federal labor laws, “an employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.”

Elauf was 17 when she applied for a job with an Abercrombie & Fitch store in Tulsa. She wore a hijab to an interview with the store’s assistant manager, who recommended her hire. However, a regional store manager downgraded her application because of the headscarf.

After not being hired, Elauf filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which took the retailer to court. Abercrombie & Fitch fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

“I’m glad that I stood up for my rights, and I’m grateful to the Supreme Court for today’s decision,” said Elauf, after the ruling, according to NPR.

Should I Speak to an Attorney About Possible Religious Discrimination?

We are happy about the outcome of this case—the federal government and California both have labor laws that protect applicants and employees from religious discrimination.

Religious discrimination can include instances when employees or applicants face penalties for wearing forms of religious clothing. Additionally, it can include instances of offensive jokes or slurs (or harassment) due to a person’s beliefs.

If you experience these issues at work, you should contact our Los Angeles religious discrimination attorneys, as you may be able to proceed with a legal claim. You can contact our attorneys by filling out the contact request form on this page. You should not have to face consequences at work due to your religious beliefs.

Keep following our blog and social media sites for more information about California labor laws and discrimination.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob- Los Angeles employment attorneys