A popular national chain of clothing stores is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly not hiring a Muslim Tulsa teenager because she wears a hijab, a religiously mandated head scarf.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Abercrombie & Fitch in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, modified in 1991, as the basis for the action.
The suit says that Samantha Elauf, 17, applied in June 2008 for a sales job at the Abercrombie Kids store in Woodland Hills Mall. A district manager allegedly told her that the hijab, which Elauf wears in observance of her religious beliefs, did not fit the store’s image.
“Defendant refused to hire Ms. Elauf because she wears a hijab, claiming that the wearing of headgear was prohibited by its Look Policy, and, further, failed to accommodate her religious beliefs by making an exception to the Look Policy,” the lawsuit states.
Elauf went to the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma, which helped her file a complaint with the EEOC in Oklahoma City.
See also the Guardian, 18 September 2009