Religious accommodation, the Oscars, non-competes, social media, Brian Williams versus Bill O’Reilly, workplace violence, and inspirational employees — we have it all today! Here are some links about recent news and court cases involving the workplace, followed by some points for discussion if you’d like to comment.
Supreme Court justices seem to side with hijab-wearer against Abercrombie. Oral argument was held Wednesday in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a case I’ve been following for some time. According to the EEOC, Samantha Elauf – a woman who wore a Muslim hijab (head scarf) to her job interview – was rejected for employment at an Abercrombie store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, because the hijab didn’t fit in with the retail chain’s “look” policy. (Abercrombie has changed its policy since Ms. Elauf was declined employment.) The EEOC claims that Abercrombie discriminated against Ms. Elauf because of her religion and failed to reasonably accommodate her religious beliefs. The EEOC won summary judgment, but Abercrombie appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which reversed and granted summary judgment to Abercrombie instead. According to the Tenth Circuit, Ms. Elauf was required to disclose to her interviewer that she was wearing the hijab for religious reasons — otherwise, Abercrombie couldn’t have known that its duty to avoid discrimination or make reasonable accommodations was triggered.
I disagreed with the Tenth Circuit decision in this post from 2013. The case is now at the U.S. Supreme Court.