Abercrombie & Fitch, purveyor of preppy teen wear, is fighting out its latest hijab-related controversy in the Supreme Court, where the clothing store is currently facing a religious bias case for alleged discrimination against a potential hire who wore a traditional Muslim headscarf (“hijab”) to an interview, according to Vice News. The case has dragged on since 2008, when Samantha Elauf, then 17, allegedly resisted the store’s infamous “look policy” — which dictates staff guidelines on clothing accessories, and even makeup . She wore a black headscarf to her interview in a Tulsa, Oklahoma branch of the kids store.
“I learned I was not hired by Abercrombie because I wear a head scarf, which is a symbol of modesty in my Muslim faith,” Elauf said after oral arguments had been presented to the court Wednesday.
Abercrombie claims in a court brief that Elauf’s scarf infringed on company policy because the company explicitly forbids its “models” — as sales staff are called — from wearing the color black or from sporting headwear in store, which is why she was not offered the job.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which brought the suit on Elauf’s behalf, claims Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically aimed at stopping companies from refusing to employ someone based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion, according to Vice.