Abercrombie Faces Third Religious Bias Suit

June 28, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed another lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch for religious discrimination.

An EEOC press release, says the company violated federal law when it fired a Muslim employee for wearing a religious head scarf, called a hijab.  

According  to the EEOC’s suit, in October 2009, Umme-Hani Khan, a 19-year-old Muslim woman,  started working at the Hollister store (an Abercrombie & Fitch brand  targeting teenagers aged 14 through 18) at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San  Mateo, California. As an “impact associate,” she worked primarily in the stockroom.   

At first she was asked to wear headscarves in Hollister colors, which she agreed to do. However, in mid-February, she was informed that her hijab violated Abercrombie’s “look policy,” an internal dress code, and was told she would be taken off schedule unless she removed her headscarf while at work.   

According to the EEOC, Khan was fired on February 23, 2010, for refusing to take off the hijab.  

Last September, the agency filed suit against Abercrombie for refusing to hire an 18-year-old female employee who applied at the Abercrombie Kids store at Great Mall in Milpitas, California, in March 2008 (see Abercrombie & Fitch Hit with 2nd Suit over Religious Head Scarf). Another suit was filed by the EEOC St. Louis District Office in September 2009.