Muslim Teen Alleges Discrimination
OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 18) - A Muslim teenager claims in a federal lawsuit that she was denied a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store at a Tulsa mall because she wore a head scarf.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf said she applied for a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in the Woodland Hills Mall in June 2008. The teen, who wears a hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, claims the manager told her the head scarf violates the store's "Look Policy."
"These actions constitute discrimination against Ms. Elauf on the basis of religion," the lawsuit states.
A spokeswoman for the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the company has "a strong equal employment opportunity policy, and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible."
An attorney for the EEOC claims the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination based upon religion in hiring. The EEOC said the lawsuit was filed after the agency attempted to reach a voluntary settlement.
"It is unlawful for employers to treat applicants or workers differently based on their religious beliefs or practices in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring and job assignments," EEOC senior trial attorney Michelle Robertson said.
The suit seeks back pay for the teen and a permanent injunction against the retailer from participating in what it describes as discriminatory employment practices. It seeks undisclosed monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from "emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience."
The suit also seeks punitive damages against the company for its "malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights."
In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC that accused the company of promoting whites over minorities and cultivating a practically all-white image in its catalogs and elsewhere.
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Now this isn't even the worst of it... this article alone got me upset but then I saw the poles at the middle of the paragraph I got even more upset and more disappointed.
When readers were asked:
Should Abercrombie & Fitch employees be allowed to wear Muslim head scarves?
75% of readers said No Out of over 27,000 people polled
NO!!! What is wrong with a woman wearing a head scarf! and why should Abercrombie be allowed to tell employees they CAN NOT WAER ONE! Last time I check my country had freedom of religion and WE as a people should NOT discriminate against it! I mean HELLO the country was founded by PEOPLE who WANTED freedom of RELIGION! SERIOUSLY?!?!?
Then when readers were asked:
How would you characterize the teen's lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch?
81% of readers said it was frivolousOut of over 27,000 people polled
Wow! WOW! W.O.W.! really? that's where we are at? PLEASE tell me these polls are wrong cause I KNOW that had the manager laid a hand on her butt then it would be ok to sue? But for a women to be expected to expose a part of her self that no one sees just so she can have a job is ok? THAT is ok? might as well ask her to flash people because that is how exposed she would feel if she were to have to un-veil. Not to mention it's a commitment to God not some I-should-have-the-right-to-sport-my-gang-colors situation. Women fought hard in the United States of America to be able to wear what they want when they want and now we are telling women what they can and cant wear again? Women can walk around like no-panty-wearing celebrities flashing their "Bi'ness" to anyone and everyone but OH MY GOSH they should NEVER be allowed to be conservative!!!!
I am spitting angry people. Seriously outraged. Ridiculous is the only way I can describe this! And, I think, for bringing this story forward that AOL News should be applauded because this story was NO WHERE to be found on any of the top news sites I checked. This isn't the first time that I have noticed that AOL News reports the real news rather that only publishing news to play off stereotypes and biasses.
From now on ignorant Abercrombie & Fitch will no longer get my business and I would venture to guess that my friends who cover will no longer shop there either.
But tonight I will hope that the citizens of the United States will remember what values our country was founded on. Freedom.