Court Favors Abercrombie In Okla. Suit Over Hijab

A federal appeals court in Oklahoma dismissed a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch filed by a woman who claimed she was denied a job because she wore a hijab or headscarf during her interview.
A federal appeals court in Oklahoma dismissed a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch filed by a woman who claimed she was denied a job because she wore a hijab or headscarf during her interview.

A federal appeals court has dismissed claims by an Oklahoma woman who says she wasn’t hired by Abercrombie & Fitch because her headscarf conflicted with the retailer’s dress code, which has since been changed.

A federal judge initially sided with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Samantha Elauf. The EEOC alleged that Elauf wasn’t hired in 2008 at an Abercrombie store in Tulsa’s Woodland Hills Mall because her hijab violated the clothing retailer’s “Look Policy.”

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision Tuesday. The court said Elauf never told Abercrombie she needed a religious accommodation, even though she was wearing the headscarf during her interview.

The Ohio-based company changed its policy three years ago. It recently settled similar lawsuits in California.

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