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When does a company’s dress code violate the law?

October 15, 2014

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

In 2008, a 17-year-old girl applied for a sales job at Abercrombie Kids in a mall in Tulsa, Okla. She was dressed to impress as the company promotes a “look policy” and calls in-store salespeople “models.” The only thing that stood out during the interview was that the applicant, Samantha Elauf, was wearing a black hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by many followers of Islam.

The associate who interviewed Elauf, Heather Cooke, scored her appearance as a six, meaning that she could be hired, but the Abercrombie regional manager, Randall Johnson, downgraded the score because of the headscarf and denied her the job. He said Abercrombie did not allow hats. Later he said he did not know that the head scarf was worn for religious reasons.

After finding out that Johnson refused to hire her because of her hijab, Elauf determined that Abercrombie violated a federal law that requires employers to “reasonably accommodate” religious practices as long as the business wouldn’t suffer “undue hardship.” She took her complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which agreed with her. It took the retailer to federal court.

The EEOC says the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on religion and requires employers to accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs.

The company said that Elauf failed to bring up the fact that she wore the hijab for religious reasons and that therefore the company should not be held liable for failing to accommodate her religious beliefs.

Elauf won an initial ruling in federal court, but lost on appeal. But the story doesn’t end there. The Supreme Court has decided to take up the case, which could have repercussions for job applicants with religious beliefs that might conflict with employers’ policies.

The appeals court’s ruling gave employers more leeway in deciding whether a religious practice would cause potential conflict with company policy, allowing employers to deny applicants jobs because of religious practices, said U.S Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who represents the EEOC.

Verrilli says that if the Supreme Court upholds the appeals court’s ruling, employers could “take adverse employment actions based on what they correctly understand to be religious practices in cases in which applicants or employees simply lack the knowledge necessary to request an accommodation.” Essentially, it forces applicants to bring up the religious practice that might be in conflict with company policy and ask for a religious exemption. If a job applicant is unaware of the conflict, the employer does not have to bring it up during the interview.

Several religious groups, including General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Jewish Committee and the American Islamic Congress, have backed the EEOC. Elauf’s attorneys argue that the increased use of online applications would allow employers to reject anyone with a religion-based scheduling conflict, such as someone needing to attend services during a store’s hours of operation.

Update, June 2: The Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, that Abercrombie & Fitch failed to accommodate Elauf's religious needs when she was denied a job because her hijab violated its dress policy.

What do you think?

Did Abercrombie & Fitch violate the law when it refused to hire Elauf because of her hijab? Should it be up to the employer or the applicant to bring up any religious practices that may conflict with company policies? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
12/19/2017
Magnolia, TX
Morgan
Mr.Metzger/ Magnolia west
In my opinion they both mess up in doing their part the associate who interview Elauf should of made sure and ask if what she was wearing was for her religion. But, in the other hand maybe she knew and didn't really need to say anything about it Islam are very common in the united states and we know that they wear the hijab for their religion. The manager did do wrong for not hiring her he could've ask if what she was wearing was important to her to wear. I'm no one to judge because i'm not the manager I don't know how he thinks I don't know if he did it on purpose or accident in the case both did wrong and could of fix everything by just making sure what was her religion and why she was wearing what she was wearing many companies even tell you what you have to wear to be hired should've just said that she cant follow one of their dress codes.

2/23/2017
Murrieta, CA
zoe
Mr. Jabro / MCA
The fact that the regional manager thought that Elauf's hijab was a hat shows how idiotic this person was and does not deserve his job. Many women, like Elauf wear hijabs on a daily basis and live in every state. I'm sure Randall Johnson has seen a woman with one before he scored Elauf. He claims she did not mention her religious beliefs, but the fact is she shouldn't have to. It does not matter. Randall Johnson chose to discriminate a young girl because of her religious beliefs, and after getting caught, he played stupid.

5/16/2016
Murrieta/ CA
Lauren
Mr.Jabro/ Creekside
I think Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law when they wouldn't hire Elauf because of her hijab, the reason why it is wrong is because it's her religion and what she believes in. They have no right to turn some one away because of their looks, it's sad because now that's all that people care about. Abercrombie & Fitch has had these issues before with the size of people, they have said they only make small sizes. I think this situation was against the law even if he said he didn't know it was her religion.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Jessica
Me.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Although the manager admitted that he did not know Elauf was wearing the hijab for religious beliefs, he still should have been aware of all religious practices. He also shouldn't have been rating people on their appearance. However I do understand that working for a kids store and wearing a "hat" wouldn't give you a good outlook.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Alexia
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Abercrombie and Fitch obviously violated the law. Many people think that a persons appearance is more important than who they are. And then people want to tell others that they are too insecure, they are insecure because of what other people think of them like this company is doing. They let her go because of what she was wearing.. And then that company is wondering why they aren't getting enough buisness. It should be up to the applicant to share their beliefs. And if you want to know so bad you should just bring ip a conversation about it not rate the person.peropl should have to be acres or to overwhelmed because they are to worried to know what other think of them.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg/ PA
Selena
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
I think that Abercrombie and Fitch violated the law. They have no right to deny Elauf of the job due to her religious beliefs. That's just like denying someone of a job due to their skin color or gender.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Miada
Mr Hanna / Stroudsburg JHS
Abercrombie and Fitch obviously violated the law. This company is known for downgrading people of their weight and obviously their looks. They shouldn't have to 'score appearance' for someone just to get a job. They refused Elauf just because of her reliefs and looked past it and said "Abercrombie didn't allow hats". Abercrombie also violated the 1st Amendment which says "Congress shall make no law respecting religion...". Heather Cooke didn't even have the audacity to ask about her hijab being for religious beliefs she automatically assumed it was a "Hat". People shouldn't hide their beliefs or be scared to show them just because of a job.

3/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Mikayla
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sindey High School
Abercrombie and Fitch had clearly violated the law. This company has been known to do things much like this, and in all honesty, it's disgusting. In earlier interviews with the head of Abercrombie and Fitch, they had clearly said that their clothes aren't for fat people, nor will they make bigger sizes, so its not a surprise that they would do things like this. The hijab is for religious reasons and should be seen as that way. She shouldn't have to say it out loud for people to know. It's a lack of knowledge really. If she were to say it out loud anyways, she would be susceptible for discrimination and would be turned down anyways.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
JerikaP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I think Abercrombie and Fitch violated the law and should not have denied Elauf the job. The First Amendment states, " Congress shall make no law respecting religion..." This means that the store should have not denied Elauf just because of her hijab without at least asking if it was for religious purposes. Even if they asked, it still wouldn't have been constitutional, in my opinion, a store shouldn't have the right to refuse to give a job by judging a person by their looks. However, denying a person from a job due to what they are wearing is unconstitutional regardless if it is for religious purposes because it denies someone freedom of speech.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, California
Victoria P1
Wong/ Lorbeer Middle School
In the First Amendment it clearly states ".... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of religion..." Abercrombie and Fitch violated that law. I believe it is the employer's job to bring up any religious practices. Since they are the ones who might have issues about religion practices. I think it is unconstitutional what they did to Elauf.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
SavannahP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe students in charter schools should have First Amendment rights because it applies to every citizen of the United States. Whether the school is being funded by the government or privately, students are still legal citizens of the United States. Therefore, their First Amendment rights should be protected.

11/14/2015
Diamond Bar,CA
SharonP5
Wong/Lorbeer
After reading the following article, I believe that Abercrombie & Fitch violated the law when they refused to hire Elauf because of her hijab. They had violated the 1st Amendment which states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting religion..." The employer should have asked Elauf if she was practicing a religion. Although Elauf did not tell the employer that she was part of a religion, Abercombie & Finch had no right to not employ her just because of her hat. This is also violating a persons' free speech.

10/27/2015
murrieta ca
brittney
jabro
because the EEOC says that the company violated title VII of the civil rights act of 1964, i think that Abercombie & Fitch violated the law when they refused to hire this woman because of her "Hat". The employer Heather Cooke should have asked if her Hijab was part of a religion. But also Elauf should have seen that Abercombie & Fitch do not allow hats which means she would not be eligible for the job since her religion requires a hijab. Verrilli says that if the Supreme Court upholds the appeals court’s ruling, employers could “take adverse employment actions based on what they correctly understand to be religious practices in cases in which applicants or employees simply lack the knowledge necessary to request an accommodation.” Essentially, it forces applicants to bring up the religious practice that might be in conflict with company policy and ask for a religious exemption. If a job applicant is unaware of the conflict, the employer does not have to bring it up during the interview.

9/25/2015
Murrieta, CA
Maria
Jabro/ Creekside Highschool
In my opinion Abercrombie & Fitch should have thought more carefully before making their decision on refusing to hire Elauf. Although, I do feel that any company has the right to want a certain image for their franchise; I don't agree with a company turning down someone based on their religion that is protected in the bill of rights. Furthermore, i do however believe that any applicant applying for any job should bring up any religious practices to avoid any further problems for both parties and also because they shouldn't have to hide that they believe in God or dressing a certain way just to get a job.

9/9/2015
Murrieta/CA
Kayla
Jabro/Creekside
The fact that the regional manager thought that Elauf's hijab was a hat shows how idiotic this person was and does not deserve his job. Many women, like Elauf wear hijabs on a daily basis and live in every state. I'm sure Randall Johnson has seen a woman with one before he scored Elauf. He claims she did not mention her religious beliefs, but the fact is she shouldn't have to. It does not matter. Randall Johnson chose to discriminate a young girl because of her religious beliefs, and after getting caught, he played stupid.

6/7/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Nigel
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Abercrombie and Fitch did violate the law when denied a job to Elauf because her hijab violated the dress code. Even though Elauf was treated unfairly she could have prevented this situation. She had to know about the rule of no headwear she should have brought up the topic to her employer during the interview so they could have settled the issue there.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg pa
Madison
Hanna stroudsburg jhs
I feel a company has a right to want a certain image for themselves. I understand if they don't want tattoos of a naked woman or maybe even someone with Gages or pink hair as the "face"of the business. Although, I do not feel it's right for a company to turn down a job for someone based on the religion. Your religion is protected in the bill of rights.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Rebecca
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe the company had no right to avoid hiring Elauf because of her hijab. Clothing for religous reasons cannot be discouraged. If it was her belief her score cannot be determined by the manager of the store. Everything she did to take action over the situation and the conflicting law was perfectly reasonable. It completely violated her rights to wear and take part of religous actions that are within reason.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg/PA
Valeria
Hanna\ Stroudsburg JHS
Abercrombie and Fitch did violate the law when they didnt hire Elauf because of her hijab. I find this very horrible. Companies shouldn't interfere with someones beliefs. Elauf was raised this way and shes learned to follow this religion. These two companies are going against what shes seen her whole life just because of their "hats" policy. This is discriminating her beliefs on islam. A hijab is a totally different thing than a hat. She shouldn't have to say anything about her being islam or about her religious beliefs because it shouldn't conflict with their policy in the first place. Everyone knows what a hijab looks like and how islam people wear it, it is a common religion seen in the united states. The employer should know to bring up any conflicts that might be going on with their policy, they aren't living under a rock.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Casie
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think Abercrombie & Fitch violated the law when they didn't hire Elauf. It was for her religion and they just discriminated against her because of her head dress.I think it should be up to the employer to bring up any religious practices that may be against store dress policy because they know the policy and the applicant does not know at all.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, Pa
Bailee
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
abercrombie and fitch violated a law when they refused to hire elauf because of her hijab. she has to wear it for religious reasons and they can't change that. it should be up to the employer to decide to bring up religious practices, the employer is more experienced with this than the applicant. but in the interview for the job she could have mentioned that she wore her hijab for a reason, but she failed to do so.

3/4/2015
murrieta,CA
Mickey
Mr.Jabro/ creekside
i don't think it was the company's fault on this one ,because she failed mention the fact that she wore hijab for religious purposes and if she had she wouldn't have been in that situation and could have a job, but then again , how many people do you see wearing a hijab and they ones that oyu do , they obviously wear it for religious reasons and they interview could had brought up they topic of her hijab to comfrime that it was for her religion and they could have warned they store manager about it ,so really depending on which side you look at the problem it was both of they're faults

12/19/2014
murrieta/ca
taylor
mr.rodgers/tenaja
abercrombie and fitch did violate the law denying elauf the job to work there because of her religious beliefs they knew what she was wearing the whole time they aren't dumb. so in that case yes the manager should have brought up the topic discussing religious views and so on.

12/10/2014
Birmingham/AL
Meg
Parker/Spain Park a High School
I personally believe that Elauf's rights were denied when Abercombie didn't hire her because she wore a head scarf. A company should not hire its people based on appearances and that, I believe, is discrimination. I also believe that other amendments were violated in this case such as freedom of speech in the way that people are allowed to dress in order to express themselves through clothing. I personally have applied to Abercrombie before and there is a very strict policy of what you are allowed to wear/dress like. You are not allowed to wear colored fingernail polish, you can't have hair dye, only small jewelry is allowed, and it is recommended for you to wear your hair straightened. Abercrombie is limiting the rights of the individual by not allowing them to express themselves freely, and they are making it to where each of their employees are cut into "cookie-cutter" shapes and appear to look all alike.

12/8/2014
Irving/TX
Lee
Bradley/Nimitz
It is highly unlikely that a modern adult (Randall Johnson is a regional manager for a large company, he doesn't live or work in an isolated rural area) could be so ignorant as so not know that wearing a hijab is a Muslim religious practice. I am having a hard time believing that Mr. Johnson “did not know the the head scarf was worn for religious reasons”. He should just admit that he either 1) made a horrible and insensitive mistake, and not try to victimize himself for his wrongdoing or 2) is prejudiced and is lying to protect his career, at the expense of Samantha Elauf’s livelihood (and the livelihood of other hijabi women like her). It should also be noted that interviewers aren't allowed to ask invasive questions in the first place, as it is rude and very unethical. There should just be a larger effort among companies to include at least some basic training on common religious practices that might cause applicants or employees to differ with policies.

11/18/2014
Irving, TX
Mark B
Bradley/ Nimitz
I believe wholeheartedly that Abercrombie violated the law by denying Elauf. One of our country's ideals is religious tolerance, and if we allow any discrimination of one's religious beliefs, then our country's ideals would be nothing more than a thought. I believe that the problem here lies in the employer, whose company's standards interfere with the law. The interviewer in this case was simply doing their job.

11/18/2014
Murrieta CA
ed naeemy
Mr. Jabro creekside high school
I think that they did violate a law and that Elauf shouldn't have been denied the job because of the hijab she wears every one has a religious input and if she feel like its not a think to share then she shouldn't have too. Plus there are millions of Muslims out there that wear hijabs history books and schools teach it all the time so things like this don't happen. Everyone knows what a hijab is and what religion it stands for. That like a cross represents Christianity no matter what the representation for that religion a cross a hijab whatever it may be it that person shouldn't be questioned or not hired.

11/16/2014
Irving/TX
Erik
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz High School
I believe an employee has the choice to work for a company which requires certain dress code requirements that allow them to wear religious clothing or not. Separation of work and personal religious practices should be the choice of a company and if a potential employee doesn't like the dress code of the company, they should find another job elsewhere. A company's dress code should not violate the law in any situation.

11/16/2014
Irving/TX
Gabriel M
Bradley/Nimitz
No, Abercrombie & Fitch was not in violation of the law. It is the responsibility of the applicant to disclose any information that may hinder them from following company procedures. It is the responsibility of anyone applying for a job to be informed of policies beforehand, in order to inform the prospective employer of any policies they may not be able to follow.

11/16/2014
Irving/ Texas
Lidia
Bradley/ Nimitz
I think that it was definitely inconsiderate on behalf of the employers to disrespect Eluaf's beliefs. I think that the employers arguments about how they did not know that she wore the scarf as a religious demonstration was pointless. I think that when you see someone who wears that you automatically realize that it must be because of something like that. In that case it would be both the employers job to ask and the employee's job to inform so that things like this don't happen.

11/15/2014
Irving/TX
Victor
Bradley/Nimitz
Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law when they refused Elauf because of her hijab. They argued that she did not tell them she was wearing it for religious reasons, but they also didn't ask her. I think it should ultimately be up to the employer to ask the applicant about any religious practices that may conflict with company policies. They are the ones that know the companies policies and should be the ones to ask about religious practices.

11/14/2014
Strodsburg.Pensylvania
Javier
Mr.Hanna SJHS
A company's dress code violation violate the laws is when they break it to much. They have time to buy the appropriate dress code. More than 5 violations should be then violated the laws

11/14/2014
Strodsburg.Pensylvania
Javier
Mr.Hanna SJHS
A company's dress code violation violate the laws is when they break it to much. They have time to buy the appropriate dress code. More than 5 violations should be then violated the laws

11/14/2014
Stroudsburg PA
David
Me Hanna SJHS
The dress cod should be a violate. Because Every body should where the same clothing So nobody can be left out of anything. Like Rashel comment for there clothing or how They look

11/14/2014
Belleville/Ny
Elizabeth
Colby/Belleville Henderson
If the associate who interviewed Elauf truly didn't know that the head scarf was worn for religious reasons, then Abercrombie & Fitch didn't violate any laws. However, if the associate had questions about the head scarf,she should have asked Elauf during the interview, clearing up any doubts about her religious beliefs. Since Abercrombie doesn't allow employees to wear hats, I think Heather was completely justified in not hiring Elauf. Why should she receive special treatment just because of her beliefs? Although religious beliefs really shouldn't have anything to do with the application process, if an employer has doubts or questions, they should ask the applicant to clear the air. Maybe if hats were in the Abercrombie dress code, Elauf would have gotten hired no problem. However, maybe Elauf didn't know about the no hats rule. In that case, Heather could have simply told Elauf that hats aren't allowed, and to show up without one on her first day. In addition, maybe Elauf did poorly on the interview regardless of the head scarf. On the other hand, if Heather didn't hire Elauf solely because of her headscarf, Abercrombie could be in some serious trouble. However, it isn't up to us to decide if Elauf should have gotten hired or not because we don't have enough information.

11/14/2014
Stroudsburg/PA
Ava
Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law. I do not believe them when they say they didn't realize that the girls head scarf was for religious beliefs. Itt is not a new trend going around the United States, and there are many Islam people living here. I truly think they just did not want to hire the girl because she didn't look like any of the other "models " in the store catalog and the store itself. Therefore, I believe Ambercrombie & Fitch violated the law.

11/14/2014
Irving/Texas
Tyler
Bradley/Nimitz
People from all over the world have come to America for generations, long before I was born, long before Mr. Johnson was born, and long before Ms. Elauf was born. Many people have come in order to escape religious persecution somewhere else in the world, because that was a principle on which this country was founded. Religious freedom is one of the fundamental ideas that Americans live on. If a young lady wears a scarf around her head because of her religion who am I to say that is against the law? Who is Mr. Randall to say that? No, Ms. Elauf has every right to work anywhere she wants with her religious beliefs, provided she was qualified to work there. If we take away one person's right to freedom of religion then where do we draw the line? The answer: we don't one thing leads to another and all the sudden there's no religion that's accepted at all. And that is not what the founding fathers had in mind for this country. Quite the opposite in fact.

11/13/2014
Irving/Tx
Jocelyn
Bradley/ Nimitz High School
Technically Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law, it’s not like Elauf’s hijab would cause the store’s ruin. But to be fair, Elauf didn’t mention to them previously that wearing her hijab was a religious practice for her. She shouldn’t end up expecting the employers to know of her religious practice. Considering how the regional manager had no idea of how she looked or what she wore, since all he had to base her off of was a rating number. The applicant should be the one to bring up religion if they think it might intervene with certain policies to the job they’re applying for. The employer can set out a series of questions in which the applicant would have to fill out before they are able to have an interview. They would be subtle questions about possible religious and work conflicts. For instance, they could ask to list out if there are any other primary priorities that they feel a right to not miss out on. Also, if there is certain apparel they would have to wear each day or certain days. Simple, yet subtle questions like those, that way they wouldn’t become offended for being asked blunt questions pertaining towards their religion. If the employer prefers to not have to go through the work of having to create a questionnaire, then it should still be up to them to ask the applicants if they have any religious practices that might interfere with the company’s policies or regulations. After all, the employer would be the one who would know most about the types of policies their company has.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Da-Nelle
Mr.Hana/Stroudsburg JHS
Yes, I believe that Abercrombie did violate laws. It was wrong of them to not hire that girl because she wore a hijab for her religious reasons. It was wrong of them and people shouldn't be denied from job offerings because of what they wear based on their religious beliefs.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Kinley
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I do believe that Abercrombie and Fitch violated the law because it's not fair to deny someone a job just because of their religion or beliefs. It is not fair because she did not do anything wrong. The manager should have been aware of that religion in the first place. Any company should allow anyone with any belief or religion even if it goes against the dress code.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Taylor
Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
In my opinion Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law. It isn't fair to deny someone a job because of their religion or their appearance alone. I do understand the fact that the company wants sales people to dress in the same style of clothing for work and think it is a good idea. But, not hiring someone because of natural beauty or a religious practice is just not right. The headscarf probably wouldn't discourage business if Samantha had been hired. Also, the fact the the manager said that he didn't know that the headscarf was for religious purposes seems sketchy--- it isn't really often you see someone wearing a headscarf that doesn't have to do religion. I think that the Supreme Court should leave the law as they have it in the appeal, except for the part where it states that an employer doesn't have to ask about conflicts with religion. I think that the employer should have to ask, because it avoids misunderstandings between employers and applicants.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Dillon
Mr. Hanna SJHS
I think that Abercrombie without a doubt violated the law by not hiring Elauf for her religious beliefs. The company directly disregarded the First Amendment which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Their actions were completely and totally unacceptable. I don't think that the applicant should have to disclose the religion of his or her following because it is not information that everyone needs to know. By wearing a hijab, Elauf obviously showed her beliefs and she is entitled to them without worrying about how anyone will react to them being a citizen of the U.S. Especially in the post 9/11 view of most Americans and the anti-Muslim sentiment, Elauf showed her pride in her beliefs, and no one should be able to criticize or not employ her for that.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg P.A
Masi
Hanna/ Jr. High
I believe that Abercrombie did violate the law because it's not fair to not give her the job just because of what she wore or her beleifs. I think it shouldn't have to be up to anyone, if someone could make the job or not just because of their wardrobe or beleifs.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg Pennsylvania
Zoey
Hana junior high school
I feel that Abercrombie and Fitch Did violate the law because it isn't fair to not higher someone because of there religion or her believes! She should be allowed to wear the scarf if it is a religious belief! I also find it really wrong how the manager did not know that the scarf was some type of religion.. But I think it is so unfair that she did not get the job because of Her religin or what she was wearing so I think she should get the job.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Taylor
Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
In my opinion Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law. It isn't fair to deny someone a job because of their religion or their appearance alone. I do understand the fact that the company wants sales people to dress in the same style of clothing for work and think it is a good idea. But, not hiring someone because of natural beauty or a religious practice is just not right. The headscarf probably wouldn't discourage business if Samantha had been hired. Also, the fact the the manager said that he didn't know that the headscarf was for religious purposes seems sketchy--- it isn't really often you see someone wearing a headscarf that doesn't have to do religion. I think that the Supreme Court should leave the law as they have it in the appeal, except for the part where it states that an employer doesn't have to ask about conflicts with religion. I think that the employer should have to ask, because it just simplifies everything and guarantees no misunderstanding

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
colson
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think it is very wrong that she did not get the job. She should have gotten the job because she did nothing wrong. It is wrong that she was turned down just because of her religion.

11/12/2014
Irving/Texas
Jorge
Bradley/Nimitz
Let's start with the easiest thing to point out; Abercrombie did in fact break the law by refusing to hire Elauf for wearing her hijab. It's wrong to not allow someone to work just because they're Muslim or another religion. We as people of these united states have the freedom of religion and with that freedom we shouldn't get penalized for it. During the interview process the interviewer should ask questions like "what times can you work?, What other obligations do you have?, etc" questions to maybe not ask what religion you are, but the applicant can tell you that they may have this and this, and if the applicant does wear some kind of religious attire then they should tell you "I wear this because of my religion."

11/12/2014
Irving/Texas
Flor
Bradley/Nimitz
To a certain extent, Abercrombie and Fitch did indeed violate the law when they refused to hire Elauf because of her hijab. But, to their defense, they were not aware that she had worn the hijab because of religious practice, and they went with the policies of the company. In this case, it shouldn’t be up to the company to ask questions, for some people might get offended or be really sensitive to questions about their religion. The applicant should be the one to say if they have any religious practice that might interfere with the company policies. So, technically speaking, Abercrombie and Fitch did, violate the laws. But at the same time, it wasn’t to their knowledge, so the conclusion they came up with at the end is very understandable and I agree with it.

11/10/2014
Murrieta, CA
Justin Reed
Mr. Jabro / Creekside High Schol
If the employer of Abercrombie & Fitch really did not know it was for religious practices, it wouldn't necessarily be violating any federal EEOC laws. But if he really did know all along, he is violating the Civil Rights act of 1964, and laws along with the EEOC. It should be completely up to the applicant for the job to bring up any religious practices that may cause conflicts.

11/7/2014
Irving/Texas
Rachel
Ms. Bradley/Nimitz High School
Abercrombie and Fitch and companies like it are known for being superficial. They rank their applicants for employment by appearance; they are already discriminating based on appearance, why wouldn't they discriminate based on religion? Furthermore, the company's dress code applies to when the workers are actually on the job. If Abercrombie an Fitch "had no idea" that the hijab was for religious purposes and instead thought it was just an accessory, they could have asked her to take it off. The company was being discriminatory towards Elauf, and did violate the law.

11/5/2014
Murrieta,Ca
Elena P.
Mr.Jabro/Creekside Highschool
I feel that Abercrombie & Fitch shouldn't be held accountable for lowering Elauf's score! They didn't know that her head dress was for religious purposes, the one thing they should have done though, was simply ask her why she wore the hijab. Then it would have saved them a ton of trouble, the law doesn't say anything about asking a candidate for a job about their religious preferences if they are clearly wearing something meant for religious purposes.

11/4/2014
Murrieta CA
Raquell
Mr.Jabro/Creekside
Abercrombie and Fitch did not violate the law in anyway from not hiring Elauf. Abercrombie and Fitch lowered her score because of her hijab however, they did not know before the sueing that it was worn due to religious beliefs. It should be the applicants job to bring up their religion if it effects the job and company they are applying for. It also should be brought up if you are wearing anything on a daily basis so that they understand why in fact you are wearing the item such as a hijab.

11/4/2014
Irving,TX
Claudia
Bradley/Nimitz
When the Abercrombie & Fitch regional manager, Randall Johnson, refused to hire Samantha Eluaf because of her hijab, he did ultimately violate her rights. Even though he may use as an excuse that he was not aware that it was a religious practice, he should have brought up the issue with her and asked her personally. Since employers don’t all have the same dress code policies, they should bring up any religious practices that may conflict with company policies. Rather than automatically denying applicants’ opportunities, employers should be more fair with them by being more honest with them, and being clear of what their policies are when it comes to religious practices. Eluaf did have the right to react the way she did because her rights were violated.

11/4/2014
Irving,TX
Martin
Ms.Bradley/ Nimitz High School
Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law when they refused to hire Elauf because of her hijab. The employer should be the one to ask the question, there isn't anything wrong with that, but the applicants do not have to tell them before they are interviewed. It's the employers job to ask the question they are the ones who know what the companies policies are.

11/3/2014
Irving/TX
Colton
Bradley/Nimitz High School
Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) clearly violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The black hijab should not have been the factor of the employment rejection. It should be known by the general public what it means when a person wears a hijab. If they did not know then the employer should have asked about the hijab instead of penalizing the interviewee. The interviewer has the right to ask, but the interviewee also has the right to keep her religious practices private and does not have to share a reason why she is wearing something. This is a clear demonstration of cultural discrimination which is unconstitutional.

11/3/2014
Irving,TX
Noemi
Bradley/ Nimitz High School
If Abercrombie and Fitch was not aware of the purpose or use of the hijab, then Abercrombie and Fitch did not violate any laws. While the first amendment of the US Constitution protects our freedom of religion, it is the job of the applicant to ensure the employers of their religious practices. There is a possibility that people are knowledgeable of certain religious items. With this in mind it is the responsibility of the applicant to inform the employers of religious practices. However, the employers also have the responsibility to inform the applicant of their policies.

11/1/2014
Irving,TX
Miguel
Bradley/Nimitz
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a company’s dress code violates the law when it discriminates based on religion and requires employers to accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs. In other words, if a company, like Abercrombie, does not hire someone because of their religious customs, then it violates the law. Elauf, who was not given a job at Abercrombie because of her hijab, took the company to court. She believed that she should be guaranteed protection from the government is she wishes to wear a hijab. If someone is discriminated because of their religious practices, than those discriminating are clearly breaking the law. A company's dress code violates the law when it doesn’t hire someone because they didn’t like a mandatory religious piece of clothing.

10/31/2014
Irving/TX
Briana
Bradley/Nimitz
The company should take into consideration the needs of their employees and should tell them about conflicts that can happen based on certain criteria the applicants need to meet. Abercrombie and Fitch violated the law because the first amendment protects our freedom of religion and by rejecting Samantha because she practices her religion in the form of wearing a hijab the company is violating a form of the first amendment. The first amendment allows us freedom of religion and wearing a hijab is part of practicing the religion which protects the girl. Samantha did not dress unprofessionally on her interview therefore she should not be denied a position because she wears a hijab since she didn’t get a low score on her appearance which is a big factor in employing people in Abercrombie and Fitch. The employer has the responsibility of telling future employees about certain religious practices or other factors that might interfere with work because the employers know more about the job and can identify conflicts that can occur that an applicant might be unaware of.

10/31/2014
Irving/TX
Marilynn
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz
A company's dress code violates the law when they violate someone's personal being, in this case religious customs.The employers at Abercrombie & Fitch should have come to an assumption that the hijab was not a hat, but instead obviously used for religious matters.The fact that they did not ask her about her hijab shows that they,at first, did not have a problem with it. But when Johnson noticed Elauf with hijab,he does not hire her for that reason. Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law when it refused to hire Elauf because of her religious custom.I believe that it should be up to the employer to ask about religious practices when it's noticeable at the interview, but if the applicant has a religious practice at which is not shown at the interview, such as not wearing their hijab at the interview, then they should inform the employer about their religious practice at which they pertain to.

10/30/2014
Irving, TX
Jonathan
Bradley/Nimitz
I do not think that the Abercombie and Fitch violated any laws due to the fact that they were unaware that the hijab was a religious head dress. They simply followed their dress code on "hats" and their look policy. The dress code for a job is key to the company and how they present themselves, so Elauf could have brought it up to save the interviewers from thinking about it. In any interview i believe it should be the interviewee to bring up any religious restrictions or necessities that may come in contrasts with the companies policies. But it can also be the interviewers job to see fit that the interviewee knows the rules and to find out if their are any restrictions for the person they interview.

10/30/2014
Irving/Texas
Peyton
Bradley/Nimitz
I do not think that Abercombie & Fitch violated any law. They followed the hiring procedures that they always do which in this case was "no hats". The employer did not know for sure that the hat was associated with Samantha's religion, therefore there is no wrong in denying her the position not knowing that her wardrobe had something to do with her religion. Yes, it is stated in the Bill Of Rights that we have freedom of religion, but it should be the job of the applicant to bring up any religious affiliations associated with their application. Every applicant is different, and if there are no religious restrictions, it should not be brought up, but if you do have a potential issue as an applicant, it should be addressed by the person applying for the job, not the employer; they cannot read minds.

10/29/2014
Murrieta ca
Bianca Munoz
Mr. Jabro/ Creekside
Yes, Abercombie & Fitch did violate the law, I don't think it is okay for a company to deny a person due to religion. Elauf was just practicing religion, she wasn't hurting anybody. I think its absurd for a young lady not being able to get a job and a clothing line just because of her religion. Abercombie & Fitch should had at least warn Samantha before interviewing her. Samantha had every right to complain.

10/27/2014
Irving/Tx
Carolyn
Ms. Bradley/Nimitz
There are several reasons why jobs will not employ others by the way they dress, but that is only if they are dressing unprofessionally. In this case, Elauf, an Islamic woman, was denied a job because of her religion. No matter what the employer said about not being aware of her religious hijab, the employer was aware. There could have been certain questions or statements the employer could have told Elauf about her hijab, but they didn't. Why should Elauf tell the company about her religion during an interview? That could affect her from getting a job. It is the employer's job to bring up issues of job availability affecting religious practices. The employer of Abercrombie & Fitch violated law using someone's religion as a way to not be employed, as it was the only part of the interview she was "lacking". Whether the employer was aware or not, they should have asked questions about her hijab before rudely insulting it.

10/26/2014
Irving/TX
Hillary
Bradley/Nimitz
I feel like Abercrombie & Fitch did violate the law by turning down Elauf because of her hijab. Elauf should've let the employers know that it was a religion thing to wear her hijab 24/7 but the employers should've also brought up the reason she wore that hat cause then it would've led her to tell them it was for a religious purpose. Abercrombie & Fitch does require people to dress a certain way because that's their way to lure in the young adults. But the hijab shouldn't have to stop her from applying at jobs.

10/24/2014
Irving/Texas
Kierria S.
Bradley/Nimitz
Immediately, people would point the finger at Abercrombie & Fitch, but considering that Elauf never said anything about why she wears the hijab or spoke to her employer about it, it has to be completely her fault. If it was discrimination, then that would be a completely different topic, but we’re not dealing with that. Randall Johnson was going by what was probably in an Employer’s Handbook and could have easily mistaken her hijab for a hat or scarf. It’s quite puzzling that Elauf would take the situation all the way with the court instead sitting down with the manager who didn’t in any way violate the Civil Rights Act do to being unaware of beliefs Islam. To conclude this I have to say that the employer and the applicant must together sit over what is and isn’t allowed and find a compromise if there is any disagreement. If there is a problem then this should be handled between employer, applicant, and Human Resources, not the company and court.

10/23/2014
Irving/TX
Jessica
Ms. Bradley/ Nimitz High School
I think that Abercrombie and Fitch violate the law when it refused to hire Elauf because of her hijab. It seems that they have judged her by her appearance without asking any further questions for an explanation. It should be up to both the employer and the applicant to bring up any religious practices. This shows that the employer cares and respects their beliefs. When the applicant brings it up, it shows that they take their religion seriously. It also shows that they want to explain everything clearly and prevent any confusion. or complications.

10/22/2014
Murrieta, CA
Ziona Montes
Mr. Jabro / Creekside HS
Yes, I do think that Abercrombie & Fitch violated the law, because it is a part of her religious views to dress and carry herself the way she did, at her interview. In my opinion it should have been brought to Samantha's attention before hand on what she can and cannot wear. It is a part of her religion, and is not fair to Samantha whom was just practicing her belief and religious views.

10/21/2014
Murrieta California
Stephanie Folston
Mr. Jabro Creekside High School
Yes I do believe Abercrombie & Fitch violated the law. It should be up to the employer to bring up any religious practices that may conflict with company policies. How is the applicant suppose to know every rule about dress code. Even then she should be able to wear her hijab. How could you stop someone from practicing their religion and finding a job. Even the US military allows turbans and such but a mediocre job doesn't.

10/21/2014
Murrieta / California
Isaac
Mr. Jabro / Creekside
I think that Abercombie & Fitch violated the law when they refused to hire this woman because of her "Hat". The employer should have asked if her Hijab was part of a religion. But also Elauf should have seen that Abercombie & Fitch do not allow hats which means she would not be eligible for the job since her religion requires a hijab.

10/21/2014
Irving/Texas
Carlos
Bradley/Nimitz
I think Abercrombie & Fitch violated the law when refusing to hire Elauf because of her hijab. It should be up to the employer to bring up any religious practices that may conflict with company policies. The employer is the one who is hiring and he should also be the one informing the applicant about the dress code. The applicant could be unaware that religious practices go against the dress code.

10/17/2014
Murrieta CA
Elizabeth Padilla
Mr.Jabro/Creekside HS
I believe that it is not fair to Samantha that she got graded down because of her scarf. Yes i know that jobs require certain outfits that you need to wear to look appropriate for work but thats rediculous. That scarf to her is a symbol of her religion, thats something that she needs to wear to represent herself and her beliefs.

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