Supreme Court boosts workers who claim religious bias

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Samantha Elauf outside of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Feb. 25, 2015). Photo courtesy of Emily Hardman, Becket Fund

Samantha Elauf outside of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Feb. 25, 2015). Photo courtesy of Emily Hardman, Becket Fund

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WASHINGTON – The decision was a defeat for preppy clothier Abercrombie & Fitch, which refused to hire a Muslim girl in 2008 because she was wearing a black hijab, or head scarf.

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  • This is an excellent Supreme Court decision.

    Everyone must have freedom of religion
    and employers are bound by the law to make reasonable accommodations
    to all employees.
    Wearing the scarf is a completely reasonable accommodation.

  • JR

    I’m afraid what Hooters is going to look like now.

  • Garson Abuita

    Hooters is to the Abercrombie headscarf case as “swastika cakes” were to the anti-gay marriage baker/florist/photographer cases. No man will ever take a waiter job at Hooters. Not bc they have purportedly tried- they have and those cases have settled. It seems like Hooters is willing to pay to never have to test its claim that large- breasted women are a bonafide occupational requirement. And no man actually wants the job bc he’d get zero tips, which is how waiters make money.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I’m surprised that no one in the media has commented on the possibility that this decision is a tip-off of possible future decisions involving other religion issues coming up before The Court. Like coercing nuns to endorse birth control and abortion. Or is The Court going to only give protection to Moslems???

  • @Deacon John,

    “Like coercing nuns to endorse birth control and abortion…”

    Under no circumstances will Nuns be “forced to endorse” anything against their religion. That is illegal. Just as priests will NEVER be forced to marry gay people.

    Your right to your religion ends when expressing those rights harms others. As in Suicide Bombing.

    As for, “only give protection to Muslims..”?
    Wearing a piece of clothing as Nuns do – is already legal religious expression for Nuns. Adding Muslims to that list denies nothing to Nuns.

  • JR

    What about fat women, or hijab wearers, or the mentally retarded girls?

  • Who are you and what did you do with Atheist Max??

  • Garson Abuita

    There have been similar cases regarding overweight women, etc., and the results have been the same. As to your hypotheticals, I think the result would be the same.
    “Mentally retarded”? What century are you living in?

  • samuel johnston

    It appears that at the moment I am in the small minority that thinks that the workplace is not the place to assert your religion in opposition to the employer. Distracting religious jewelry, tattoos, clothing, and behavior are, and should be, constitutionally protected for the public, hence for the shopper, but not for the employee, as he is representing his employer to the public. I look for this case to have a long train of suits that push the limits, and in the end it will be overturned.

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  • Jack

    For once, we agree, Atheist Max.

  • Larry

    Why do you hate Orthodox Jews and Sikhs, John? They too wear head covering for religious purposes. They too would be directly affected by this decision.

    Wearing a head covering is a reasonable accommodation. Firing someone because you think God considers them abominations is not. Violating the privacy of an employee’s medical insurance use is also not a form of religious expression. If the nuns were being forced to use birth control and abortion for themselves, it would be an exercise of religious belief. Your religious belief is not grounds for dictating what others must do.

  • Garson Abuita

    There seems to be a misconception that the floodgates are open now that the Supreme Court has recognized the right to wear a hijab at work. It didn’t, because that right has existed for some time. The issue here was who has to ask about a religious accommodation, and when. This case made the news due to a young, attractive Muslim woman challenging a defendant already vulnerable to claims that its “East Coast collegiate” (ie white and affluent) “Look Policy” was discriminatory. Plus it continues the Court’s trend of receptivity to religious freedom claims, in anticipation of the gay marriage case at the end of the month.

  • Barry the Baptist

    Did you only just start supporting religious freedom and equality?