The highest court in US has ruled in favour of a Muslim woman after she complained of religious discrimination against a fashion retail Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
In 2008, Samantha Elauf was denied a job by the clothing chain as she wore a hijab (headscarf). She was aged 17 when this incident took place. The company had said that it violated their ‘look policy’ for staff working in sales department.
Elauf’s case was fought by the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act of US, employment discrimination based on religious beliefs and practices is illegal.
The US Supreme Court voted 8-1 in favour of Elauf.
It’s not the first time that Abercrombie has been accused of religious discrimination. In 2013, after two other women complained of religious discrimination because they wore hijab. The company was forced to reach an out of court settlement with those complainants.
A federal district judge had originally ruled in favour of Elauf, but the appeals court decided in favour Abercrombie following which the matter had reached the Supreme Court.
Elauf had received overwhelming support from America’s Christian, Jewish and Sikh groups. The clothing retail chain has since then changed its look policy to accommodate sales staff with hijabs.