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?

By:  Chelcey E. Lieber

As widely reported, and as discussed in our blog post “Supreme Court Rules DOMA Section 3 Unconstitutional”, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had defined marriage as a legal union only between one man and one woman. The Court’s 5-4 vote in U.S. v. Windsor means that same-sex couples who are legally married now must be treated in the same manner under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.


Continue Reading The Impact of U.S. Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on FMLA

By:  Chuck Post

In Vance v. Ball State University, the Supreme Court clarified a long open question, “Who is a supervisor under Title VII?” The question is important because employers are directly responsible for employee harassment by a supervisor. In the case of worker harassment of a co-worker, however, employer liability is less direct.

By:  Chuck Post

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Supreme Court held that employees must show that “but for” the employer’s desire to retaliate, the employee would not have suffered an adverse action (demotion, termination, etc.) against him/her. Lower courts had been split over whether the “but for” standard was