Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal

The EEOC issued a press release on July 20, 2015 announcing that the federal appeals court has dismissed Abercrombie & Fitch’s (“AF”) appeal of the EEOC’s religious discrimination case because AF made the decision to settle the case following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

Below is a summary of the court proceedings.Beth-West-15_web

The case arose when Samantha Elauf, then a teenager who wore a headscarf or hijab as part of her Muslim faith, applied for a job at an AF store in her hometown of Tulsa, Okla.  She was denied hire for failing to conform to the company’s “look policy,” which AF claimed banned head coverings.  Elauf then filed a charge with the EEOC, alleging religious discrimination, and the EEOC filed suit against AF charging that the company refused to hire Elauf due to her religion, and that it failed to accommodate her religious beliefs by making an exception to its “look policy” prohibiting head coverings.  The trial court granted summary judgment on liability to EEOC after holding that the evidence established that Elauf wore the hijab as part of her Muslim faith, that AF was on notice of the religious nature of her practice, and that it refused to hire her as a result.  A jury subsequently awarded Elauf damages for the discrimination.

Continue Reading The Final Resolution of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision