The Supreme Court will hear the case of a Muslim woman in Oklahoma who says Abercrombie & Fitch would not hire her because of the head scarf she wears for religious purposes.
In 2008, Samantha Elauf was 17 and applied for a job at the Tulsa Abercrombie Kids store. She said a friend who worked at the store said the hijab she wore would be allowed as long as it wasn't black, as sales associates were not allowed to wear black. The company has a "Look Policy," Bloomberg Businessweek reports, and is strict about the hair styles, make up, and sartorial choices of its staff.
Elauf was interviewed and scored a 6, which was enough for her to get a job. An assistant manager tried to hire Elauf, but a supervisor said the head scarf did not follow the look policy, and she wasn't hired. Later, he said he did not know that the scarf had religious meaning.
In 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie on behalf of Elauf, and she was awarded $20,000 in damages. The decision was reversed in 2013, with the court saying Abercrombie couldn't be held liable since Elauf never told the company her religious beliefs were not in line with company policies. It was the EEOC that petitioned the Supreme Court to review Elauf's case.