US Supreme Court appears to favor Muslim girl in discrimination case

2015-02-26 08:19:41 | Al Muslim News
US Supreme Court appears to favor Muslim girl in discrimination case

 

US Supreme Court justices who favored legal protections for religious beliefs and customs of Muslim girl have denied a job at clothing store in Oklahoma because she wore a hijab (headscarf) for religious reasons. The hour-long oral argument exposed the retailer and its "look policy" for sales associates to harsh criticism from both liberal and conservative justices. They appeared to reject its contention that the girl was turned down for her black hijab, not her religion. The focus of the case was 17-year-old Samantha Elauf's 2008 job interview in Tulsa, Okla. The woman conducting the interview assumed she was wearing the headscarf for religious reasons -- but did not ask. She was found to be qualified, but her application was rejected over her hijab because her head scarf conflicted with the company’s dress code. The justices on Wednesday aggressively questioned company’ lawyer on the premise that an employer must take steps to accommodate and respect the faith of a job applicant or employee. Elauf did not explain that she was wearing the hijab for religious reasons during the interview for a sales job at the store in 2008 in the Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A panel member of court said there would be no reason to deny her employment unless the company assumed she would wear the scarf to work every day because of her religion. "Abercrombie & Fitch has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and consistent with the law, has granted numerous religious accommodations when requested, including hijabs," the company said in a statement. A decision by the US Supreme Court is expected in May. Meanwhile, supporters of Elauf and members of the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) raised banners outside the Supreme Court, denouncing discrimination and demanding respect for the law and constitution..

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