In 2008, then 17-year-old Samantha Elauf (pictured above in February 2015) was denied a job at Abercrombie & Fitch, which she felt was a result of her wearing a hijab, and thus identifying herself as Muslim, during the interview process.
[ Related: Abercrombie Finally Changes Its Looks-Based Policy ]
On Monday, the Supreme Court, in a near unanimous 8-1 decision, ruled that companies cannot discriminate against employees, or deny employment to job applicants, for religious reasons.
The justices ruling against Abercrombie argued that even if the retailer did not know for a fact that Elauf was Muslim, their suspicions had nevertheless influenced their decision not to hire her.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:
"The rule for disparate-treatment claims based on a failure to accommodate a religious practice is straightforward. An employer may not make an applicant's religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions."
This decision will obviously have major implications in the future for other companies who raise suspicions of discriminating for religious reasons.
It should be noted, however, that Abercrombie has changed its "looks policy" recently after backlash that the company only hired employees that fit a very narrow, mainstream ideal.
Better late than never, we guess!
[Image via Abercrombie & Fitch Instagram & AP Images (inset)]
Tags: abercrombie and fitch, gotta have faith, legal matters, samantha elauf, supreme court