Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie on Hijab

AbercrombieThe Supreme Court settled a case about Abercrombie & Fitch for denying a Muslim woman a job because she wore a headscarf, or hijab, for religious reasons. After the applicant's interview, the assistant store manager deemed her qualified for the job, but the district manager said her hajib would violate the company's dress code. 

This is a major win for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that brought charges against the retailer. The Society for Human Resource Management summarizes the decision: 

"In an 8-1 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer may not refuse to hire an applicant if the need for a religious accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, unless accommodation would pose an undue hardship.

"The prohibition on refusing to hire an applicant to avoid accommodating a religious practice does not apply, as Abercrombie argued, only where an applicant has informed the employer of her need for an accommodation."

Image source

Discussion Starters: 

  • What's your view of the case? Consider the legal requirements described by SHRM as well as Abercrombie's perspective. 
  • How would you react if you shopped at Abercrombie and saw an employee wearing a headscarf?