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Employee Sues After Being Fired for Wearing Headscarf: Whose Side Are You On?

News 2011/06/27 23:33:55
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Selling padded bikinis to little girls was not enough for Abercrombie. Now, they've taken another swing at modesty by firing an employee for wearing a religious head covering to work.

A Hollister Co. worker is suing the store's parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, for firing her when she refused to remove her Muslim headscarf, or hijab, while on the job.

"Hani Khan worked in the stockroom of the store in the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo from 2009 to February 2010.

When hired, she had agreed to wear only white, navy, or gray headscarves.

But after a district manager visited the store, Khan was asked by the corporation to take off the headscarf entirely while at work. She was told it didn't comply with the company's "look policy."


After refusing to remove her head scarf Khan was fired and is now suing Abercrombie. She will be represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Understandably, a modest headscarf doesn't really fit the "image" of Abercrombie's half-naked models. But Khan worked in the stockroom! What's the big deal if none of the customers were going to see her anyway?

Was Abercrombie in the right? Or was this just plain old discrimination?

Read More: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/06/hijab-...

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Top Opinion

  • Savage Soul 2011/06/28 01:23:19
    Abercrombie & Fitch
    Savage Soul
    +24
    I just wonder, did she take the job knowing and accepting their dress code?

    Everyone has to follow the rules except the Muslims? I don't buy it.

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Opinions

  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 18:41:27
    Nobamma
    I agree with that.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:45:26
    TKramar
    You say you agree...but you still concern yourself with the labels. I'm opposed to all political parties.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 18:47:08
    Nobamma
    Good for you, make sure you do not vote.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 19:03:34
    TKramar
    Voting is a waste of time...the results are predetermined, and the person in office has no control over anything. He is told what to do by those in power.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 19:08:17
    Nobamma
    I Know, that is why you should not vote.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 19:13:11
    TKramar
    I don't vote, because I'm not an idiot. Only idiots vote.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 19:14:17
    Nobamma
    Thats right.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 18:12:57
    Nobamma
    BTW, I highly doubt that you were a Gifted Child.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:22:37
    TKramar
    Luckily, your "doubt" has no impact on the truth.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 18:28:33
    Nobamma
    I am sure the special ed teachers told you you were special.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:32:51
    TKramar
    I didn't have any special classes. Just the best in my classes.
  • fuzzy K... Nobamma 2011/06/28 22:39:13
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    +1
    If A&F doesn't want people wearing hajibs, then they shouldn't hire them in the first place.

    Read this poem and perhaps re-think your opinion.

    "First they came for the communists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me."
  • Nobamma fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 15:05:18
    Nobamma
    +2
    look at these images and get back to us.

    images twin towers images nick berg
  • fuzzy K... Nobamma 2011/06/29 15:30:19
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    I have no love for Islam. (check out my previous posts) I consider it a death cult. They have no qualms killing us or themselves in the process. BUT...
    this girl was no terrorist. If anything she was probably scared to death that if she ever removed her hajib in public she would be killed by her father or brother or uncles or all of them after they rape her. None of the women in her family would interfere on her behalf either.
    My firm belief is that most Muslims are not terrorists but most terrorists are Muslim.

    That does not change the fact that if A&F didn't want someone wearing a hajib they shouldn't have hired her in the first place. This sets a precedent. Who's next? An orthodox Jew who won't take off his yarmulke or cut off his peyos (sidecurls)?
  • Nobamma fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 16:23:17
    Nobamma
    It is the employers choice of who works there. They can fire her if they feel she does not conform to their standards.

    She is free to conform or get another job in a muslim business where they do not care.
  • fuzzy K... Nobamma 2011/06/29 17:11:10
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    Yes, it is the employers' choice of who works there and if someone does not conform to their standards they are fully within their rights to let them go. I'm not arguing that.
    As far as the story says she was in compliance as the she was told by the manager who hired her.
  • Nobamma fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 18:14:32
    Nobamma
    +2
    Seems like the manager was not correct and the Company has the final say.

    I will bet there is more to the story and she decided to make an issue and play the vicitm.
  • fuzzy K... Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:16:18
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    Very possible on both counts.
  • TKramar fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 18:29:19
    TKramar
    +1
    It was probably something given a trial, and it didn't work out. Too many people complained. Enough people complain about me wearing a bandanna and tank top to work, and I would either have to conform, or find a job where they care more about my productivity than my fashion sense.
  • thegaln... fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 18:34:14
    thegalnextdoor
    +1
    you're right ... but I can't see a young man with peyos even trying to work there... or a nun on mission to the world working in such a store.... I keep going to back to the local manager saying okay and the regional over ruling.... one manager is in trouble either way...
  • morris44 fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 15:20:19
    morris44
    His blind hatred for certain groups of people causes a ont-track thought pattern.

    We should have known to disregard the comments of someone who would call themselves nobamma.
  • fuzzy K... morris44 2011/06/29 15:36:04 (edited)
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    +1
    Usually I agree with him. It's just this one instance that I don't.

    You see, conservatives don't walk in lockstep. We agree on most things but not on all.

    Regarding his name; I agree with him 10000%
    instance conservatives walk lockstep 10000 nobama 12
  • morris44 fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 15:40:49
    morris44
    I think it is fine for you to agree with him.

    But I also think one's icon name says a lot about a person.

    What I mean is that use of words can suggest a level of open-mindedness to discussion.

    For example, when Rush uses words like feminazi, you know there won't be much room for discussion.
  • fuzzy K... morris44 2011/06/29 17:16:25
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    On certain matters one need not have an open mind. If you feel strongly enough, then so be it. I know plenty of folks whose minds are shut tight regarding Sarah Palin and George Bush.

    BTW: Rush is right. My son, an avowed progressive liberal Democrat (Just a shade away from being a Socialist) took a Female Studies course in college and he even used the word "feminazis" to describe them.
  • morris44 fuzzy K... 2011/06/29 18:23:28
    morris44
    Nazi. Really?

    I've had some really bad dentists who I think were probably slightly sadistic, and I wouldn't even use that term for them.

    Nazi is a very strong term with very specific meanings.
  • Nobamma morris44 2011/06/29 18:30:47
    Nobamma
    +1
    Yet your dem leaders use the term quite often .....
  • fuzzy K... morris44 2011/06/29 19:53:07
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    If my uber-liberal teenage son uses that term he was probably downplaying.
    uber-liberal teenage son term downplaying feminazi
  • Nobamma morris44 2011/06/29 18:29:48
    Nobamma
    +1
    BLind Hatred huh, did your family members get murdered on 911 ?
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:38:30
    TKramar
    Nope, what happens in NYC has no effect on me. And even if they did, I would be HAPPY. Never liked my family.
  • Nobamma TKramar 2011/06/29 18:42:21
    Nobamma
    You sound like a great parent.
  • TKramar Nobamma 2011/06/29 19:04:32
    TKramar
    I don' t like kids--why would I be a parent? I support abortion.
  • morris44 Nobamma 2011/06/29 18:53:57
    morris44
    No.

    My mother was killed by a negligent doctor. I do not now hate all doctors.
  • Nobamma morris44 2011/06/29 19:01:55
    Nobamma
    Since doctors so not follow a code to kill patients the way Islam directs followers to kill infidels, that is not a good comparison .
  • ConservativeThinker 2011/06/28 17:47:04
    Undecided
    ConservativeThinker
    +2
    Well, after reading the article, I stand with Abercrombie. Would they want a Christian woman to dress in the Habit? And if more Muslim women are going to be a problem for company's, I'd surmise less of them will be hired by high-profile companies like Abercrombie. After all, if I owned a company and thought that by hiring a certain person I was more likely to be sued by that person, why on earth would I hire that person?
  • Ailat 2011/06/28 17:46:52
    Hani Khan
    Ailat
    +1
    They told her they would be tolerant of her religion when they hired her. If they had a problem with her being Muslim, they should have been outright and simply not hired her! I am all for this poor girl! If I was working somewhere and they fired me for refusing to wear a bikini when I told them when I was hired that I wouldn't and they STILL hired me, then I would sue too.
  • Conserv... Ailat 2011/06/28 18:16:17
    ConservativeThinker
    +2
    The story lies in the manager of this particular store going against company policy (possibly) and hiring the woman who should not have been hired in the first place. Then the District Manager, probably knowing nothing of this possible illegal agreement between manager and employee, demands the employee dress like everyone else and follow the company rules and policies.

    However, below is a list of items one can wear according to an employee of this organization and nowhere is there any mention of head scarfs.

    "Girls should try to follow these guidelines (below), but the best bet is to dress similar to your manager. Not only will they subconsciously like you more because you have such a "great sense of personal style," they also can't ever find something wrong with your outfit!!

    1) Never were anything black.
    2) Wear the store "colors" (whatever is the most-used color(s) for the season, currently navy blue and white)
    3) Wear very basic makeup, if any. (No bright blue eyeshadow or red nail polish; keep it NATURAL LOOKING)
    4) Wear Abercrombie clothes (duh).
    5) If wearing something NOT from Abercrombie, such as AE jeans, make sure that no tags or brand-specific icons are visible. Strictness on this varies from store to store.
    6) Shoes: wear AF flip flops, very plain "basic" flip flops (O...
    &







    The story lies in the manager of this particular store going against company policy (possibly) and hiring the woman who should not have been hired in the first place. Then the District Manager, probably knowing nothing of this possible illegal agreement between manager and employee, demands the employee dress like everyone else and follow the company rules and policies.

    However, below is a list of items one can wear according to an employee of this organization and nowhere is there any mention of head scarfs.

    "Girls should try to follow these guidelines (below), but the best bet is to dress similar to your manager. Not only will they subconsciously like you more because you have such a "great sense of personal style," they also can't ever find something wrong with your outfit!!

    1) Never were anything black.
    2) Wear the store "colors" (whatever is the most-used color(s) for the season, currently navy blue and white)
    3) Wear very basic makeup, if any. (No bright blue eyeshadow or red nail polish; keep it NATURAL LOOKING)
    4) Wear Abercrombie clothes (duh).
    5) If wearing something NOT from Abercrombie, such as AE jeans, make sure that no tags or brand-specific icons are visible. Strictness on this varies from store to store.
    6) Shoes: wear AF flip flops, very plain "basic" flip flops (Old Navy?), or any non-black Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers.
    7) Jewelery needs to be the leather & seashell type they sell at AF, and girls can wear one pair of stud earrings at a time (no multiple earrings, dangling earrings, or visible body piercings.

    Hope that helps!! When in doubt, dress like the mannequins."

    So, since there is no mention of head coverings from this informal listing, the girl could have a legitimate argument and thereby seek legal retribution. If however, there is reference or even inference to the banishing of head dresses, the woman would have little argument. And the reasoning would be as follows, in my humble opinion:

    Appearance and presentation are rights of a corporation to establish. For example, if I own a company named, "Hip Babes." And I decide, as the owner, that I want only blond, blue-eyed, 20-25 year old women to work for me, I have that right. It's my business. Now, let's say one of my managers decides to hire a woman who is brown eyed and wearing a head scarf. This goes against my standards. Now, I walk into this particular store of mine and see the woman. I demand that she take her head covering off. I have that right, regardless of who said what when she got hired. I already have reason to fire her simply by her lack of blue eyes.

    But to the point at hand: The policies would be written under the Company Dress Code heading in the Employee Hand Book. I could fire the woman legally regardless what my manager said. If she decides to sue me, I can then fire the Manager as well thereby ending her argument. In fact, I could counter sue both the manager and the employee; the manager for going against company policy and by doing so endangering the future revenues of this company and the employee for suing me by abiding legally to all of the company statutes and policies. At the very least, I could fight her unemployment insurance benefits.
    (more)
  • thegaln... Conserv... 2011/06/28 18:34:18
    thegalnextdoor
    +1
    Thanks for the research .... it appears that companies are going to have to start addressing IN ADVANCE issues such as this one... life is getting so complicated...
  • Conserv... thegaln... 2011/06/28 18:39:11
    ConservativeThinker
    +2
    I agree. I'd explicitly define dress codes. I would also establish that religious garb would be strictly forbidden (depending of course upon the type of business I owned).
  • Ailat Conserv... 2011/06/29 16:55:05
    Ailat
    When you put it that way, it makes a lot more sense. But I still think that, unless the company fires the manager too, it's unfair.
  • none 2011/06/28 17:46:30
    Hani Khan
    none
    +1
    If she was hired to work on the floor I'd side with Abercrombie because it has rules of dress but she was working in the stock room. Big deal that she was wearing a scarf, no one sees her back there and it doesn't do any damage to their image.

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