A Muslim teenager in Tulsa has filed a federal complaint alleging that a Woodland Hills store refused to hire her because she wears a head scarf.
An Abercrombie district manager allegedly told the girl in late June that her religiously mandated head scarf did not fit the store's image.
The girl took her case to the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma, which helped her file a complaint with the Oklahoma City office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"Employers have a clear legal duty to accommodate the religious practices of their workers," said Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma. "To deny someone employment because of apparent religious bias goes against long-standing American traditions of tolerance and inclusion."
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee unless doing so would create an "undue hardship" for the employer.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Web site, "absent undue hardship, religious discrimination may be found where an employer fails to accommodate the employee's religious dress or grooming practices," including a head covering.
"This shouldn't create undue hardship," Hashmi said. "This level of disrespect is unfair."
Hashmi would not identify the girl but said she is younger than 18.
He said the store's corporate policy forbids discrimination based on religion. . .
Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Washington, D.C., office, said workplace discrimination historically has been one of the agency's most common types of incidents. (MORE)