While the Abercrombie Hijab suit has been decided in favor of an employee denied religious expression, the young woman forced to sue the famously not-inclusive retailer says the situation was “very unfair.”
The Abercrombie Hijab suit involved Hani Khan, 18, who had been fired from a San Mateo, California Hollister outlet in 2010 for refusing to remove her head covering.
Khan, a female Muslim, was axed from Hollister (an Abercrombie & Fitch subsidiary) after a manager took her and her hijab to task.
Hani had been on the job for four months when a female manager took her to task for the religious attire, and Khan explains:
“She expressed concern about my hijab. That’s when I felt like it was not appropriate, what they were saying.”
Nearly two weeks later, Khan was offered her Hollister job back despite the firing… if, the company stipulated, she ditch the hijab. Hani refused, and she said:
“They just don’t feel like it fits in with their ‘Look Policy,’ which I feel is very unfair.”
A judge seems to have agreed, and also noted that despite claiming the Abercrombie hijab issue harmed the stores bottom line, that “Abercrombie failed to offer any evidence from those four months showing a decline in sales.”
After the ruling, Abercrombie said in a statement:
“Abercrombie & Fitch does not discriminate based on religion and we grant religious accommodations when reasonable.”
The Abercrombie hijab ruling follows a recirculation and resultant PR mess for Abercrombie when old comments CEO Mike Jeffries had made about only marketing to and hiring “cool, good-looking people” circulated on social media earlier this year.
Terms of the Abercrombie hijab settlement will be decided in court on September 30.