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Muslim woman sues Abercrombie & Fitch over hijab


Muslim woman sues Abercrombie & Fitch over hijab



) — A former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. sued the clothing retailer in federal court Monday, saying she was illegally fired after refusing to remove herMuslim headscarf while on the job.
Hani Khan, a former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Hani Khan, a former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Hani Khan said a manager at the company’s Hollister Co. store at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo hired her while she was wearing her hijab. The manager said it was OK to wear it as long as it was in company colors, Khan said.
Four months later, the 20-year-old says a district manager andhuman resources manager asked if she could remove the hijab while working, and she was suspended and then fired for refusing to do so.
It’s the latest employment discrimination charge against the company’s so-called “look policy,” which critics say means images of mostly white, young, athletic-looking people. The New Albany, Ohio-based company has said it does not tolerate discrimination.
Since the start of the initiative, we have seen marked improvement in the diversity of our in-store staff. We continue to work at this and other aspects of our initiative, but here are a few key facts as of April 30th, 2010 that we are proud of.
  • Our in-store workforce, as a whole is 50.22% people of color
  • Our in-store models are 48.44% people of color
  • Our in-store managers-in-training are 41.04% people of color

Still, Abercrombie has been the target of numerous discrimination lawsuits, including a federal class action brought by black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants that was settled for $40 million in 2004. The company admitted no wrongdoing, though it was forced to implement new programs and policies to increase diversity.
“Growing up in this country where the Bill of Rights guaranteesfreedom of religion, I felt let down,” Khan, now a college student studying political science, said at a news conference. “This case is about principles, the right to be able to express your religion freely and be able to work in this country.”
Abercrombie defended its record in a comment provided to The Associated Press, saying diversity in its stores “far exceeds the diversity in the population of the United States.”
“We comply with the law regarding reasonable religious accommodation, and we will continue to do so,” said Rocky Robbins, the company’s general counsel. “We are confident that when this matter is tried, a jury will find that we have fully complied with the law.”
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco comes after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in September that Khan was fired illegally. Khan’s lawsuit was filed in conjunction with the EEOC’s lawsuit.
It is not the first time the company has been charged with discriminating against Muslim women over the wearing of a hijab.
In 2009, Samantha Elauf, who was 17 at the time, filed a federal lawsuit in Oklahoma, alleging the company rejected her for a job because she was wearing a hijab. That case is still ongoing.more
thank you battleskin88
 

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