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EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc.. (US 2015)

Articles Discussing Case:

OMG! Panic over the Supreme Court’s decision on religious discrimination.

Ogletree Deakins • June 08, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 1, 2015, in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (FEP Cases 157) has resulted in a deluge of case summaries and commentaries, and engendered some level of panic among employers, who believe that the case has created a seismic shift in hiring criteria. But has it, really?

Supreme Court Finds Employer's Lack of "Actual Knowledge" of Need for Accommodation No Defense to Religious Discrimination Claim

FordHarrison LLP • June 05, 2015
Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that an employer cannot escape liability for religious discrimination under Title VII by arguing that it did not have actual knowledge of an individual's need for a religious accommodation. Reversing the Tenth Circuit's decision in favor of the employer, in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., the Court held that an employer "may not make an applicant's religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions."

Supreme Court’s Abercrombie Decision a Wake-Up Call on Religious Accommodation

Goldberg Segalla LLP • June 05, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week that an employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice a factor in employment decisions, even if the employer does not have actual knowledge that the practice was religious in nature, gives employers plenty to think about in terms of their hiring and business practices. Employers are now faced with a new set of questions on how to ensure they do not run afoul of this decision.

eLABORate: Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Actual Knowledge of Need for Religious Accommodation Not Required in Title VII Claim

Phelps Dunbar LLP • June 04, 2015
In EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14-86 (June 1, 2015), the United States Supreme Court held that an employer may be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000, et seq., for failing to accommodate a religious practice even if the employee or job applicant fails to provide the employer with actual knowledge of the need for a religious accommodation. In 2008, Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, applied for a position at an Abercrombie & Fitch (“Abercrombie”) store. She was subsequently interviewed by Heather Cooke, the store’s assistant manager. As part of her religious practice, Elauf wears a headscarf (or hijab), and she did so in her interview. During the interview, Elauf and Cooke made no mention of the headscarf, nor did Elauf indicate that she would need any religious accommodation.

What Matters is Motive: Religious Accommodation Need as a "Motivating Factor" in Employment Decisions

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 04, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.1 resulted in an expected outcome but provided an unexpectedly small amount of practical guidance for employers.

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Religious Discrimination Decision

Vedder Price • June 03, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that summary judgment was improperly granted in favor of Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. on a religious discrimination claim stemming from Abercrombie's refusal to hire a practicing Muslim who wore a headscarf during her job interview. The EEOC brought the case on the applicant's behalf, alleging that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., Case No. 14-86 (June 1, 2015), has been closely watched by observers because of its potential to resolve a circuit split over whether an applicant or employee must explicitly request an accommodation or whether it is enough that the employer has notice that an accommodation is needed.

Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch in Religious Bias Case

XpertHR • June 03, 2015
In EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the Supreme Court has ruled that a Muslim woman can move forward with her religious discrimination lawsuit against Abercrombie under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The woman wears a hijab and claims that the clothing retailer illegally rejected her for a sales associate job because the head covering she wears violated its appearance policy.

High Court: Applicant Need Not Specifically Request Religious Accommodation To Maintain Title VII Claim

Franczek Radelet P.C • June 02, 2015
On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an applicant rejected for a retail store position by Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a headscarf could maintain a Title VII claim against the retailer, even though she never specifically asked to be allowed to wear her headscarf as a religious accommodation. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (June 1, 2015)

Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie In Case Of Religious Accommodation

Fisher Phillips • June 02, 2015
In an 8–1 opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court held today that Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. is liable for refusing to hire an applicant who wore a hijab for religious reasons despite the fact that she never informed Abercrombie why she was wearing the headscarf. The decision increases the burden on employers to ensure they accommodate the religious beliefs of all applicants and employees. EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch

Supreme Court Rules Employer’s Motive (Not Knowledge) Decides Disparate-Treatment Claims

Ogletree Deakins • June 02, 2015
On June 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided whether an employer’s obligations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are triggered only when an applicant has informed the employer of his or her need for an accommodation of a religious practice. In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court ruled that an applicant with a disparate-treatment claim is not required to show that an employer had knowledge of his or her need for an accommodation. Instead, the applicant need only show that the need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision. In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court stated that “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.” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14–86, Supreme Court of the United States (June 1, 2015).