A religious discrimination complaint filed on behalf of a Muslim teen alleging she was turned away from a job because of her headscarf is the latest example of a rising trend, officials said.
The teen, who has not been identified, said she was denied employment after applying for a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store in southeast Tulsa. According to the complaint filed on her behalf by the Council on American Islamic Relations, the teen alleges she was told by a district manager her Islamic headscarf, or hijab, did not fit the company’s image.
Razi Hashmi, executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, said the complaint was filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in mid-July.
His organization is seeking an apology for the teenager from the store and a clarification on Abercrombie & Fitch’s employment policies from the Ohio-based clothing chain.
A manager at the store deferred comment to Abercrombie & Fitch corporate headquarters. Company attorney David Cupts said the matter is being investigated.
“Abercrombie & Fitch has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is key to the company’s success,” Cupts said. “Our culture gives the company the benefit of the perspectives of diverse individuals. . .
In response to the trend, the EEOC recently issued an updated Compliance Manual section on religious discrimination and a best practices guide for employers, including new references to headscarves. (MORE)