Hijab-Wearing Worker to Sue Abercrombie & Fitch for Discrimination

Categories: Law & Order
hijabhoodie.jpg
Hijabs and hoodies - an Abercrombie fashion faux pas.
​A Hollister County store worker is planning to file a lawsuit in San Francisco Monday against the store's parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, for firing her when she refused to take off her Muslim headscarf, or hijab, while on the job.

Hani Khan worked in the stockroom of the store in the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo from 2009 to February 2010. When hired, she had agreed to wear only white, navy, or gray headscarves. But after a district manager visited the store, Khan was asked by the corporation to take off the headscarf entirely while at work. She was told it didn't comply with the company's "look policy."

And considering Abercrombie's models usually aren't even fully clothed, we can imagine how a modest headscarf just wouldn't match.

Khan refused to remove her scarf and was subsequently fired. She will be represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which will file a lawsuit along with the San Francisco district office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Abercrombie's policy bans headwear, not just hijabs, but Khan joins at least two other Muslim women who have sued Abercrombie for having allegedly been fired or denied a job due to their headscarves. One worked at a store in Tulsa and the other was denied a job in Milpitas.

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dawdler
dawdler

There's a big difference between discriminating against what a person IS (religious, gay, black, female, etc) and what they WEAR.  Your core being/belief is something that you can't change.  Your clothing is easy to change.  If A&F had said they're firing her for being Muslim - that's illegal.  But they're firing her for violating dress code. 

I respect religion but extending religious protection to clothing, trinkets, artifacts, etc. seems dangerous.

Personally I think A&F is being stupid - they should just let it go - but I don't think this woman has a good case.  Then again, I'm no lawyer.

Ms Deena
Ms Deena

Now a days most companies are "At Will" companies, which means they do not need a reason to fire you. Also Her being let go has nothing to do with religion it has to do with not following dress code when a District Manager and HR decided to enforce it.

Guest
Guest

They don't need a reason, but if they provide one (and they did), it can't be an illegal one.

You could fire a black guy for being black and say "we don't need to provide a reason" in an at-will state, but you can't fire a black guy for being black and say "we decided we don't actually want any black people around".  Similarly, A&F could have fired her without giving a reason, but since they said she was fired for her religious practices, that's a bit illegal.

Vivek Golikeri
Vivek Golikeri

Personally, I don't like the hijab and would like to see Muslims get westernized and secularized. But this woman has the same civil rights that an orthodox Jew has. If he can sue for being fired for refusing to remove his yarmulke, then this is an open-and-shut case.

Elizabethfrantes
Elizabethfrantes

It should be pointed out that covering up women is actually not in the Koran, it's Saudi Bedouin tradition, and those folks made misogyny a lifestyle, and still do.  It's too bad the Islam women are so cowardly.  When "colored" women in New Orleans were ordered to cover up their hair, they made headscarves DAZZLING and made themselves even MORE attractive to the white men .. . whose wives didn't want 'em looking! 

~desolation_boi~
~desolation_boi~

If that is their policy, why did they hire her? Because they wanted the labour and now when they get caught they claim dress code. She was working fine (in the stockroom even where no one sees her) for this long, what's different now? 

To eric, that's completely different. For one, there is no harm in wearing more clothing, whereas not wearing pants is against the law. Religious wear is protected. Your religion is fine as long as it does not hurt others, which a head scarf does not. 

JustAGoat
JustAGoat

Appearance and presentation are rights of a corporation to establish. For example, if I own a company named, "Hip Babes." And I decide, as the owner, that I want only blond, blue-eyed, 20-25 year old women to work for me, I have that right. It's my business. Now, let's say one of my managers decides to hire a woman who is brown eyed and wearing a head scarf. This goes against my standards. Now, I walk into this particular store of mine and see the woman. I demand that she take her head covering off. I have that right, regardless of who said what when she got hired. I already have reason to fire her simply by her lack of blue eyes.

But to the point at hand: The policies would be written under the Company Dress Code heading in the Employee Hand Book. I could fire the woman legally regardless what my manager said. If she decides to sue me, I can then fire the Manager as well thereby ending her argument. In fact, I could counter sue both the manager and the employee; the manager for going against company policy and by doing so endangering the future revenues of this company and the employee for suing me by abiding legally to all of the company statutes and policies. At the very least, I could fight her unemployment insurance benefits.

Furthermore, your idea of hurt is not substantial. How do you know that I am not one of those persecuted Christians in Iraq that escaped to America? Now I see a woman of the religion that has persecuted me. I could be emotionally disturbed by the fact that Hip Babes hires "persecutors," whether or not she was one of them.

CK
CK

A France or Turkey-style hijab ban would obviously violate the constitution, but I feel a bit uncomfortable with telling a private company what sort of attire it must allow its employees to wear. That said, any retailer with a modicum of sense or openmindedness should not prevent an employee from wearing a hijab. If anything, having a diverse staff would make Abercrombie look hipper and edgier. I guess they are going for the Middle America wallets though.

It'll be interesting to see how this lawsuit pans out. 

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

"A France or Turkey-style hijab ban would obviously violate the constitution"

Where in the constitution does it require private companies to respect religion?

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Sharon, *I'm* the one being discriminated against here. What part of this are you not understanding?

Sharon Collins
Sharon Collins

It's not in the constitution. It's in the Bill of Rights.  It Title V11 of the Civil Rights Act. Some people are gay. Should they be denied a job if they reveal that?  Hey!  Some people are Black.  If the policy is no Blacks.. we should just adhere to it. Right?  You are arguing that one's right to a job depends on their religious practices. That's one step away (and backward) from saying that jobs can be denied based on race, religion, ethnicity or gender.  That's called discrimination.  And we went though a movement in this county to establish basic civil rights.  What that woman wears has nothing to do with her job description or job performance.  For Christ's sake, they hired her and made a deal with her.  She kept her part of it.  A-C should get the (white, anglo-saxon, protestant) pants sued off of them.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Can you explain how it "hurts others" if I'm naked?

Nadeem
Nadeem

U r a pervert, u wont get it.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Okay, what don't I get? The fact that you think calling someone names is a valid argument? Or do you actually have something to say that you're too moronic to put into words?

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

My religion requires me to not wear pants or underwear.  I hope that won't be a problem.

Cooh1956236
Cooh1956236

The Muslims living in Western countries who have never set foot onto the Middle-East to witness the true practice of the Islam, are always thinking that the Muslim way is better than than all the infidels and therefore infidels have no rights to interfere in their religion. Well, if they really believe that, then I challenge them to watch the video in the link below. They must enjoy this video and praise Allah while they are watching it, because it is Allah's merciful command:

This will make them love Muhammad and Allah even more:

http://www.apostatesofislam.co...

http://alisina.org/understandi...

nrXic
nrXic

For some reason I knew someone would make an illogical statement like this...you can almost count on it nowadays.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Saying that a statement is illogical doesn't mean it is.  But I guess you can always count on some idiot on the internet to make such an assertion without backing it up nowdays.  Why bother thinking when you can just be a dick?

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Nadeem, you clearly don't understand logic. I'm asking for an explanation of why my statement is illogical. Understand?  Or are you too stupid to get it?

Nadeem
Nadeem

The way u just were?

P 226
P 226

Funny, but completely different. My company requires that you dance naked drinking hydrocholric acid. Oh and you have to be white, christian, under 5'8 and 115 lbs. Have political views similar to mi.e and work without reasonable accommodation . That's my policy, so everyone should follow it.

JustAGoat
JustAGoat

You speak of logical argument yet pose none. A company has the right to hire or not hire people based on how it perceives those people might accentuate or diminish the company's position. If the company does not want the appearance of religious women for whatever reason, it has the right to uphold that practice. Since this is not a prejudice based on religion but on the garments of religion (would they hire a nun who dressed in the Habit?), then Ambercrombie has the right to demand the garb be removed.

If the Muslim woman would conform to the employer's dress code, she would be in no danger of losing her job, thus your argument based upon "Christian" bias, is totally ridiculous and bias in itself. If more Muslim women are going to be posing threats to established businesses simply because they have to adhere to the same policies as everyone else, then less Muslim women will be hired.

Elizabethfrantes
Elizabethfrantes

It should be pointed out that women who move, visit, etc MUSLIM nations are either advised, or forced, to adopt the "local customs" . .. .reciprocity is against the Islamic religion, I guess.

Edward Y
Edward Y

very logical response.You are an idiot.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

How DARE you disrespect his religion.

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