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Thread: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

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    SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch - CNNPolitics.com

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who has sued retailer Abercrombie & Fitch when the store failed to hire her because she wore a head scarf in observance of her religion.

    The court ruled 8-1 that the company failed to accommodate Samantha Elauf's religious needs when she was not hired on the basis that her hijab violated company dress policy. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented with part of the ruling but concurred with the rest.

    Abercrombie & Fitch argued that Elauf couldn't succeed without first showing that the employer had "actual knowledge" of her need for a religious accommodation.
    The controversy began in 2008 when then 17-year-old Samantah Elauf sought a job with the retailer. Prior to the interview, Elauf was nervous she might not be hired because of the black headscarf that she wears for religious reasons. She interviewed with assistant manager Heather Cooke, however, and although she was told that the company's "look policy" meant she shouldn't wear a lot of make up, black clothing or nail polish, her head scarf never came up.

    But after the interview Cooke sought approval from her district manager. She said she told the manager that she assumed Elauf was Muslim and figured she wore the head scarf for religious reasons. The manager said Elauf shouldn't be hired because the scarf was inconsistent with the look policy that bans head gear.
    A&F didn't really help themselves with a pretty dumb argument for their side, boiling down to "well, how are we supposed to know they are wearing a head scarf for religious reasons?" Maybe I'm not knowledge on recent fashion, but I never recall head scarfs being worn for reasons besides religion or related to religion (e.g. doing a show/play/etc. where a character is a Muslim woman).

    I don't really agree with their policy on head gear in the first place, and there is a question of how far does accommodation go for a business which deals with the public. I don't really think a head scarf, at least in A&F's case, is going to do any damage to the image the company is trying to promote though. ro be honest, I'm not sure it'd damage the image of any business (outside of ones that exclusively only cater to a particular religion, but most of those I'd assume are run by a church and thus immune anyways).
    Last edited by coyotedelmar; 06-01-15 at 09:45 PM. Reason: the title pulled from the link by the forum, didn't match the title of article (oddly)

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by coyotedelmar View Post
    SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch - CNNPolitics.com





    A&F didn't really help themselves with a pretty dumb argument for their side, boiling down to "well, how are we supposed to know they are wearing a head scarf for religious reasons?" Maybe I'm not knowledge on recent fashion, but I never recall head scarfs being worn for reasons besides religion or related to religion (e.g. doing a show/play/etc. where a character is a Muslim woman).

    I don't really agree with their policy on head gear in the first place, and there is a question of how far does accommodation go for a business which deals with the public. I don't really think a head scarf, at least in A&F's case, is going to do any damage to the image the company is trying to promote though. ro be honest, I'm not sure it'd damage the image of any business (outside of ones that exclusively only cater to a particular religion, but most of those I'd assume are run by a church and thus immune anyways).
    I find it sad this case had to go that far. This should've been resolved way before going to even the district court level. If the young lady was qualified she should've gotten the gig. The head scarves don't look unprofessional and there's no safety reason in a retail setting to ban them
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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    I find it sad this case had to go that far. This should've been resolved way before going to even the district court level. If the young lady was qualified she should've gotten the gig. The head scarves don't look unprofessional and there's no safety reason in a retail setting to ban them
    Why cant a private employer ban headgear?

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    Why cant a private employer ban headgear?
    They can ban headgear, they just have to make reasonable accommodations for religious faiths.

    A reasonable accommodation might be "well your working with machinery so no headgear that can be caught in it, or if we're hiring a firemen a religious beard will not allow you to wear a breathbg mask" but just for professionalism sake? Guy I work in seattle, I interact with people, including Moslem women frequently, they look pretty professional In the head scarf
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    They can ban headgear, they just have to make reasonable accommodations for religious faiths.

    A reasonable accommodation might be "well your working with machinery so no headgear that can be caught in it, or if we're hiring a firemen a religious beard will not allow you to wear a breathbg mask" but just for professionalism sake? Guy I work in seattle, I interact with people, including Moslem women frequently, they look pretty professional In the head scarf
    Why do I, as an employer, have to accommodate anyones religious nuttery? They came to my place of business looking for work, they follow my dress code. If they don't like it, they can work for you.

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    Why do I, as an employer, have to accommodate anyones religious nuttery? They came to my place of business looking for work, they follow my dress code. If they don't like it, they can work for you.
    You don't have to accomodate nuttery you only have to make reasonable accomodation
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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    The Supremes made the right decision. I don't know if it was A&F's intent, but banning religious or ethnic clothing or discriminating against people to pander to bigots is not a legitimate reason.

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    You don't have to accomodate nuttery you only have to make reasonable accomodation
    Should a Hooters restaurant have to allow waitresses wear head scarfs when the uniform/dress code for their waitresses is a tiny shirt with their logo and skimpy shorts?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    Why do I, as an employer, have to accommodate anyones religious nuttery? They came to my place of business looking for work, they follow my dress code. If they don't like it, they can work for you.
    "Title VII of the [1964 Civil Rights Act], ...prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin ..... Title VII applies to and covers an employer "who has fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year" ... Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, such as by an interracial marriage.[42] The EEO Title VII has also been supplemented with legislation prohibiting pregnancy, age, and disability discrimination....

    In very narrowly defined situations, an employer is permitted to discriminate on the basis of a protected trait where the trait is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. To prove the bona fide occupational qualifications defense, an employer must prove three elements: a direct relationship between the protected trait and the ability to perform the duties of the job, the BFOQ relates to the "essence" or "central mission of the employer's business", and there is no less-restrictive or reasonable alternative ..... The Bona Fide Occupational Qualification exception is an extremely narrow exception to the general prohibition of discrimination based on protected traits ..... An employer or customer's preference for an individual of a particular religion is not sufficient to establish a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification ...."
    Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: SCOTUS rules in favor of Muslim woman in suit against Abercrombie and Fitch

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Should a Hooters restaurant have to allow waitresses wear head scarfs when the uniform/dress code for their waitresses is a tiny shirt with their logo and skimpy shorts?
    Grey area. One could argue that the Hooters outfit is a legitimate occupational qualification. (such things are exempt from various public accommodation laws, which is why a strip club can refuse to hire male dancers)

    On the other hand, you could also argue that the head scarf still lets the outfit perform its intended, er, function.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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