Skip to comments.Appeals Court Overrules: Hijab Ban Not Discriminatory
Posted on 10/04/2013 9:22:02 AM PDT by jazusamo
In a painful defeat for the Obama administration, a federal appellate court has overturned a judges ruling that a clothing retailer discriminated against a Muslim woman for denying her a job because she wore a religious headscarf known as a hijab.
The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nations workplace discrimination laws. Under Obama the agency has brought a number of similar lawsuits on behalf of Muslims around the country alleging violations of religious and civil rights. In this case the agency accuses a retail giant, Abercrombie & Fitch, of illegally discriminating against a Muslim woman by ruling her out for employment over her religious headscarf.
The woman, Samantha Elauf, applied for a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch store in a Tulsa, Oklahoma mall in 2008. The company, which focuses on hip casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22, has a policy against head covers of any kind for its employees. According to the EEOC it amounts to discrimination based on religion and that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are required to accommodate the sincere religious beliefs or practices of employees, the agency says, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on business.
A federal judge in Oklahoma agreed, ruling in 2011 that the law imposes an obligation on the employer to accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee unless it would result in undue hardship on the conduct of its business. In his order the U.S. Chief District judge, Gregory Frizzell, said the store violated Elaufs civil rights when it didnt hire her. Elauf was awarded $20,000 in damages and the EEOC bragged that the court sent a clear message to employers.
But the retailer appealed and this week the Denver-based Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling in favor of the EEOC, saying the stores policy is not discriminatory, but rather intended to promote and showcase its brand, which exemplifies a classic East Coast collegiate style of clothing. Abercrombie & Fitch contends that prohibiting head covers is critical to the health and vitality of its preppy and casual brand, according to the ruling.
Additionally, the federal appellate court found that Elaufs religious headscarf only became an issue after she was ruled out as a candidate. Ms. Elauf never informed Abercrombie prior to its hiring decision that she wore her headscarf or `hijab for religious reasons and that she needed an accommodation for that practice, due to a conflict between the practice and Abercrombies clothing policy, the decision states.
The Obama administration has for years targeted this particular retailer over the hijab issue, filing lawsuits in different parts of the country. In fact, last month an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled that one of Abercrombies northern California stores violated a Muslim womans (Umme-Hani Khan) civil rights when it enforced the companys not head cover policy. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California ruled that the retailer is liable for failing to accommodate the Muslim womans religious beliefs and may owe punitive damages.
Reasonable jurors could determine that by offering Khan one optionto remove her hijab despite her religious beliefsAbercrombie acted with malice, reckless indifference or in the face of a perceived risk that its actions violated federal law, the judge writes in her 27-page opinion. Khan was represented by a renowned Islamic terrorist front group, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), thats tight with the Obama administration.
It’s telling that they targeted Abercrombie & Fitch (though I have no love for them nor their stupid advertising).
It’s also indicative of the petty, vindictive, but at the same time dangerous and tyrannical, nature of this administration. It’s the worst combination imaginable-a bunch of people that petty and vindictive, but with the power to be dangerous in enforcing their pettiness, and the will to overstep the legal boundaries because no one in this country will stop them.
When I was a child, it was required that we females wear something on the head WHEN WE ATTENDED OUR CATHOLIC CHURCH.
I for one am loving it.
One baby step.
We shall see what happens next for other cases pending.
The Catholic Church has requirements for dress for clergy, religious (nuns) and the laity (modesty, femininity/gentlemanly).
None of which are prohibited by nor constraining to the Constitution, or, the law of the land, the term so popular this week among progressives.
And the Constitution does not interfere with what we do during Mass, and vice versa.
Yes, this administration files lawsuits supposedly protecting civil rights for minorities and labor suits protecting unions but never to protect non minorities or business owners.
So when a judge in one district rules for A&F and a judge in another district rules for the muslim, does it have to go to a higher court next?
"reckless indifference or in the face of a perceived risk that its actions violated federal law"
So questioning the applicability of a statute or Federal regulations with legal counsel means you're not showing sufficient deference to the almighty State.
That judge doesn't need to be impeached-- she needs to be dragged from the bench and tarred and feathered.
Unless of course the woman and her proxy wants to fight.
And I’m betting they do.
Agreed, and she’s just one of 0bummer’s nominated judges.
These type people are also the type whom Holder has appointed in the DOJ, over 100 of them.
Why didn’t she wear her do-rag in her employment interview(s)?
Yep, she didn’t want the job, it was a setup for a lawsuit.
I can’t understand Obama targeting A&F. Were they polled, I’d bet the % of Obama voters @ A&F is higher than in the black community.
I have taught members of my family to keep a long distance between them and people in hijab, whether they are in a bank or Walmart.
One never knows when they go Boooooooom!
They don’t *have* to go to a higher court.
As I (a non-lawyer) understand it, the Appellate court’s decision would be binding on its district courts and ‘persuasive’ in others. Conflict between 2 Circuits is usually grounds for SCOTUS to take a case.
Abercrombie & Fitch? Judging from their catalogs, wearing clothes in general does not comport with their policies.
yea but those hijab’s are great for a bad hair day...burkas’ mean you can go shopping in your jammies. I think I’ll try to find one for sale...
She probably showed up to the interview without it, then showed up to work with it.