After a judge said that Abercrombie & Fitch’s ban on head coverings — detailed in its controversial “Look Policy” for employees — violates workers’ rights, the company that courts the cool, skinny kids has agreed to tweak its dress code and allow store employees to wear headscarves.
As part of the settlement in two religious discrimination cases brought against the retailer, Abercrombie agrees to pay two ex-workers a combined $71,000, reports HuffPo, as well as updating its policies to say that hijabs or headscarves are fine in the work place.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuits on behalf of two Muslim women who accused the retailer of discrimination — one who said she was fired from a Hollister store for refusing to remove her hijab, and another who sued after saying she was denied a job because of her headscarf.
“I didn’t feel like I should have to give up the price of having a job, and I’m gratified the court saw it that way,” said the woman who was fired, after news of the settlement arrived. “This is a landmark decision and a victory for people of all faiths.”
It’ll also make sure job applicants know that the Look Policy exists, but that exceptions can be made if workers request it. Headscarf accommodations will be addressed in manager training sessions as well, and the company says it will institute quarterly reviews of any religious accommodation requests.
Abercrombie will have to provide biannual reports to the EEOC regarding the implementation of the new policies.
“As part of our commitment to fair hiring practices and fostering a diverse workplace, we continually evaluate our existing policies,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “With respect to hijabs, in particular, we determined three years ago to institute policy changes that would allow such headwear.”
“We are happy to have settled these cases and to have put these very old matters behind us,” the company said.