Abercrombie & Fitch (AF) refused to hire Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, on the basis that the headscarf she wore during her interview conflicted with AF’s “Look Policy” which prohibits employees from wearing “caps” (a term that the Policy did not define). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on Elauf’s behalf, alleging a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, inter alia, prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant because of the applicant’s religious prac­tice when the practice could be accommodated without undue hard­ship. Elauf wore the headscarf as part of her religious practice as a Muslim but she did not communicate this to the manager who interviewed her nor did she ask for an accommodation in order to wear the headscarf.Beth-West-15_web

Continue Reading Supreme Court Issues its Decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Answering the Question: When Does an Employer Have to Accommodate an Applicant’s Religious Practices?

This year, lawmakers and their plaintiff’s bar buddies asked Governor Jerry Brown to recast awards in so-called mixed-motive discrimination cases. Brown vetoed Senate Bill 655, leaving in place the State’s high court ruling in Harris v. City of Santa Monica in February 2013. In that 6-0 decision, Brown’s appointee Liu said a workplace firing based both on discrimination and legitimate reasons can trigger attorney fees and declaratory or injunctive relief for a plaintiff but not damages, back pay or reinstatement.


Continue Reading Gov. Brown Vetoes Pro Plaintiff Mixed-Motive Bill