Right Hooks

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Hijab-Wearing Job Applicant

Dan Gilmore · Jun. 2, 2015

The company that didn’t sell women’s XL or XXL sized-clothes because it only wanted “cool kids” wearing its products has been reprimanded by the Supreme Court over its religious discrimination. When she was 17, Samantha Elauf interviewed to work at an Abercrombie & Fitch-owned store in Oklahoma. But she wore the Muslim hijab to the meeting, and the company did not hire her because, as the company argued, the religious garment violated the company’s “look policy” forbidding hats. In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court sent the case back down to the lower court saying that even if Elauf, now 24, did not ask for a religious exemption, the company could not refuse to hire her over her religious beliefs because it didn’t want to accommodate her faith. Justice Antonin Scalia said, “Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act] forbids adverse employment decisions made with a forbidden motive, whether this motive derives from actual knowledge, a well-founded suspicion or merely a hunch.” While state-level governments have cowed from passing pieces of legislation that would ensure religious liberty at the state level, the Supreme Court continues to broadly interpret the First Amendment, and in this case ensuring employees can observe their faith. Religious liberty is religious liberty, whether the American is wearing payot, baking a cake or donning a hijab. More…

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