Abercrombie & Fitch is the sort of company that makes people hate freedom. The Supreme Court recently manifested this sentiment when they ruled it was illegal for the company to use their “look policy” to discriminate against Muslims in headscarves.
Since employment discrimination is (rightfully) unpopular, it would seem that giving companies the freedom to do so is a bad idea, because they might take advantage of it. However, taking this freedom away from Abercrombie isn’t right either, because people who run businesses have rights too.
If you’re unfamiliar with EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, it all started in 2008 when Samantha Elauf was rejected for a job at one of Abercrombie’s retail stores, allegedly because of the headscarf she wears for religious reasons. Abercrombie’s dress code prohibits “caps” and management felt the headscarf qualified. The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that this was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says that religion cannot be a motivating factor in hiring decisions.
However, all employers have rules about what employees can and can’t wear while working. Most clothing retail stores expect their sales clerks to represent the brand: a position which most people can sympathize with.
Read the rest on The Panam Post’s blog here.