Muslim Woman Denied Job Over Head Scarf Wins in Supreme Court

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Samantha Elauf, her mother, Majda Elauf, and David Lopez, a Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s  ubiquitous counsel, after a Supreme Court listened verbal arguments in her box opposite Abercrombie Fitch in February.

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday regenerated an use taste lawsuit opposite Abercrombie Fitch, that had refused to sinecure a Muslim lady given she wore a conduct scarf. The association pronounced a headband clashed with a dress code, that called for a “classic East Coast collegiate style.”

“This is unequivocally easy,” Justice Antonin Scalia pronounced in announcing a preference from a bench.

The company, he said, during slightest suspected that a applicant, Samantha Elauf, wore a conduct headband for eremite reasons. The company’s preference not to sinecure her, Justice Scalia said, was encouraged by a enterprise to equivocate easy her eremite practice. That was enough, he concluded, to concede her to sue underneath a sovereign use taste law.

The opinion was 8 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting.

Ms. Elauf had been awarded $20,000 by a jury, though a United States Court of Appeals for a 10th Circuit, in Denver, overturned a award, observant a hearing decider should have discharged a box before trial. “Ms. Elauf never sensitive Abercrombie before to a employing preference that she wore her conduct scarf, or ‘hijab,’ for eremite reasons,” Judge Jerome A. Holmes wrote for a appeals court.

The Supreme Court sent a box behind to a appeals justice for serve consideration, though Monday’s statute suggests that Ms. Elauf is expected to prevail.

Justice Scalia, essay for 7 justices, pronounced Ms. Elauf did not have to make a specific ask for a eremite accommodation to obtain service underneath Title VII of a Civil Rights Act of 1964, that prohibits eremite taste in hiring.

“Title VII forbids inauspicious use decisions done with a banned motive,” Justice Scalia pronounced from a bench, “whether this ground derives from tangible knowledge, a probable theory or merely a hunch.”

Justice Scalia elaborated on this indicate in his created opinion. “An employer might not make an applicant’s eremite practice, reliable or otherwise, a cause in use decisions,” he wrote.

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The justice motionless in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie Fitch Stores that Samantha Elauf was not compulsory to make a specific ask for a eremite accommodation to wear a hijab when requesting for a position during a children’s wardrobe store owned by a company.

Decided Jun 1

• The association declined to sinecure Ms. Elauf, observant her headband clashed with a company’s dress code. It confirmed that it should not have been done to theory that she wore a conduct headband for eremite reasons.

Groups that paint eremite minorities, including Muslims, Sikhs and Jews, applauded a ruling. They pronounced it would assistance strengthen their members opposite use taste formed on their members’ eremite attire, conduct coverings or beards.

“The preference by a Supreme Court currently endorsed a simple right to use one’s faith openly though fear of being denied a event to pursue a American dream,” pronounced Gurjot Kaur, comparison staff profession of a Sikh Coalition, a inhabitant advocacy group.

The box started in 2008 when Ms. Elauf, afterwards 17, practical for a pursuit in a children’s wardrobe store owned by Abercrombie Fitch during Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Okla. She wore a black conduct headband though did not contend why.

The association declined to sinecure her, observant her headband clashed with a company’s “Look Policy,” or dress code. After a Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on Ms. Elauf’s behalf, a association pronounced it had no reason to know that Ms. Elauf’s conduct headband was compulsory by her faith.

In a Supreme Court brief in a case, E.E.O.C. v. Abercrombie Fitch Stores, No. 14-86, a association argued that pursuit field should not be authorised “to sojourn wordless and to assume that a employer recognizes a eremite motivations behind their conform decisions.”

Carlene Benz, an Abercrombie spokeswoman, pronounced a association had altered a dress formula given 2008, permitting workers “to be some-more individualistic.” She combined that a association “has a longstanding joining to farrago and inclusion” and “has postulated countless eremite accommodations when requested, including hijabs.”

At a trial, Ms. Elauf pronounced she desired movies, shopping, sushi and a mall. “It’s like my second home,” she said.

Her knowledge with Abercrombie done her feel “disrespected given of my eremite beliefs,” she said. “I was innate in a United States, and we suspicion we was a same as everybody else.”

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. voted with a infancy to retreat a appeals court’s decision, though he did not adopt a majority’s reasoning. “I would hold,” he wrote, “that an employer can't be hold probable for holding an inauspicious movement given of an employee’s eremite use unless a employer knows that a worker engages in a use for a eremite reason.” He combined that in this box there was “ample evidence” that “Abercrombie knew that Elauf is a Muslim and that she wore a headband for a eremite reason.”

In dissent, Justice Thomas wrote that a company’s dress formula was a neutral process practical evenhandedly that could not be a basement for a taste lawsuit.