Abercrombie & Fitch Sued For Religious Discrimination
Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, Co. violated federal law when it refused to hire a Muslim job applicant because she wore a hijab (religious head scarf), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") charged in a religious discrimination lawsuit filed today.
In March 2008, the 18-year-old female applied for a job stocking merchandise at the “Abercrombie Kids” store at the Great Mall in Milpitas, Calif. In accordance with her religious beliefs, she wore a colorful headscarf to her interview. According to the EEOC, the Abercrombie & Fitch manager asked if she was Muslim and required to wear a head scarf, then marked “not Abercrombie look” on the young woman’s interview form. The EEOC’s suit alleges that Abercrombie & Fitch refused to accommodate the applicant’s religious beliefs by granting an exception to its “Look Policy,” an internal dress code that includes a prohibition against head coverings.
“This was the first job I ever applied for, and I was excited about the idea of working for Abercrombie & Fitch,” said the job applicant. “I was into fashion, and wore skinny jeans and imported scarves that matched my outfits. The interview crushed me because I never imagined anyone in the Bay Area would reject me because of my head scarf. To this day, I can't walk into Abercrombie & Fitch stores. They didn't just miss out on a hard worker, they lost a customer.”