When she was 17, Samantha Elauf applied to work at an Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa. She wore a headscarf to the job interview, which she did every day in accordance with her Muslim faith….
She didn’t get the job. When the hiring manager saw Elauf’s headscarf, she realized that it violated Abercrombie’s official Look policy, so she had to ask the district manager whether they could make an exception. The hiring manager thought the headscarf was probably religious garb, but she wasn’t sure, she said.
The district manager said they couldn’t make an exception. His reasoning, as an attorney recently paraphrased it, was “if we allow this then someone will paint themselves green and call it a religion.”
That was seven years ago. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a discrimination case against Abercrombie & Fitch, brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Elauf.