Looks like Abercrombie & Fitch just can’t catch a break lately — at least when they discriminate against employees who don’t fit the company’s image because they’ve committed the outrageous offense of, oh, having been born with only one arm. Or, in the latest incident, having a religion that just happens to include its own rules on proper attire. In this case, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is suing A&F for discrimination after it refused to hire a Muslim woman who wouldn’t remove her headscarf. “Abercrombie and Fitch should make exceptions to its policy when needed and we don’t believe it would be an undue burden on the company,” said Michelle Robertson, an EEOC lawyer.
According to the government suit against Abercrombie & Fitch, Samantha Elauf, who was 17 at the time, applied for a position in an Oklahoma store in June, 2008. The suit states that:
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.
A&F responded to the charges by telling ABC News that the company has “a strong equal opportunity employment policy and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible.” But this isn’t the first time the company has gotten into hot water over religion. In another pending discrimination case, A&F’s Hollister brand is being charged with violating the rights of a Pentecostal Christian employee, who had requested permission to wear longer skirts than the company typically allows.