The Supreme Court is simmering on a case brought by Samantha Elauf, a Muslim applicant to the Abercrombie company, who said she was denied a job because she wore a hijab in her interview. Abercrombie claims the scarf violated its look policy at the time. At the heart of the case lies the question, did Abercrombie think that Elauf was wearing a fashion item, or did it fail to hire her because of her religion?
It seems some Supreme Court justices are leaning toward the latter. Abercrombie says it turned Elauf down because the company’s look policy doesn’t include hats or scarves. According to USA Today, “The woman conducting the interview assumed she was wearing the headscarf for religious reasons – but did not ask. She was found to be qualified, but a supervisor later ordered that Elauf be turned down.” As Justice Samuel Alito said, “The reason that she was rejected was because you assumed she was going to do this every day, and the only reason why she would do it every day is because she had a religious reason.”
Another big issue in this case is whether or not employers should ask these types of questions regarding religious accommodations during the interview at all, as it could seem as if they are discriminating against prospective workers.
What do you think? Was it religious discrimination that caused Abercrombie to reject Elauf, or was it the fact that her attire at the time didn’t fit the dress code? Does Abercrombie have the right to reject people if their religious attire is out of line with its policies?
[via USA Today]