GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ambercrombie & Fitch are right....

They should be allowed to have a dress code...particularly since they are in clothing...
Given the hyper-sexualized advertising that Abercrombie & Fitch has long embraced, it is no surprise that the company encourages its employees to let their hair down. But is the company practicing discrimination if it won't hire a young woman who covers her head for religious reasons? Yes, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Last week the EEOC filed suit against Abercrombie on behalf of Samantha Elauf, a 19-year-old community college student from Tulsa, Okla., who is Muslim. The suit alleges that Abercrombie "refused to hire Ms. Elauf because she wears a hijab, claiming that the wearing of the headgear was prohibited by its Look Policy," or employee dress code. The suit says that Abercrombie "failed to accommodate her religious beliefs by making an exception to the Look Policy. These actions constitute discrimination against Ms. Elauf on the basis of religion."

Elauf, who had experience working in retail, interviewed for a position at a Tulsa Abercrombie Kids store in June 2008. During the interview, she wore a black hijab, or headscarf, in line with Muslim religious tradition. According to the EEOC, Elauf got word through a friend, who worked in the store, that the headscarf cost her the job. The EEOC alleges that during its investigation, Abercrombie & Fitch flatly told the agency, in a position statement, that "under the Look Policy, associates must wear clothing that is consistent with the Abercrombie brand, cannot wear hats or other coverings, and cannot wear clothes that are the color black." Elauf is suing for back pay and compensation related to emotional pain and anxiety. "If these allegations are true," says Chuck Thornton, deputy director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, "they are serious. In this day and age, it's not acceptable. Certainly, a headscarf is part and parcel of the Islamic experience."
Sorry, I think the ACLU has this one wrong. Surely, the Islamic experience is more than a head scarf??? No one is forcing this person to work at Abercrombie & Fitch.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Philanthropist said...

She should be suing Islam for emotional pain and anxiety, not the clothing store. These people are idiots.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Peter A said...

I'm with the ACLU and the woman on this one. This is religious discimination.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a legitimate case of discrimination, if they can find the evidence. This case is not like the "i'm offended by what you said so I'm gonna report you to the HRC" cases we see here in Canada. I certainly wouldn't want to be discriminated against because i was wearing a crucifix.

3:33 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

Companies should have the right to set a dress code....and you can wear a crucifix under your clothes and it won't be noticed.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous DoorHold said...

I'm conflicted on this one. Sure, you can "hide" religious symbols such as crosses, but headscarves by their nature cannot be hidden. So that makes THEM an exception, symbols that SHOW can be discriminated against?

So you could turn away an Orthodox Jew? A sign stating, "We don't hire Orthodox Jews," is OK for you, as long as the claim is that it's due to a dress code?

I can't think of other types of religious symbolism that shows, but there must be others.

On the other hand, she wore black, which ISN'T required by Islam and is specifically forbidden in the dress code.

"She doesn't have to work there, there are other options" is similar in tone to "Blacks don't have to have the same [fill-in-the-blank] as whites, they have other options." Not cool.

I do understand that ethnicity is a protected class and the specifics have been well-sorted out by now, but religious discrimination, as this case shows, still has some issues that need to be sorted out.

Conflicted. :\

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muslims need to find places that will accomadate them not force stores to hire because they refuse to remove the scarf. For all we know she could be a terrorist.

11:08 AM  

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