A judge with a brain and common sense has ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch shat the bed when they fired a Muslim employee who insisted on wearing a hijab to work, as if she had the right to practice her religion freely.
Hani Khan was fired from a Hollister store in San Mateo, California, in 2010 because A&F “claimed the head scarf violated its policy governing the look of its employees, which it said was part of its marketing strategy. The store argued that deviating from its look policy would affect sales.” It’s true, I only want to shop at stores where everyone looks like San Fernando Valley Barbie.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, a person who is level headed and thoughtful, ruled that the company fired Khan in violation of California’s anti-discrimination laws, because that is very obviously what they did. Since Abercrombie couldn’t provide any actual, fact-based evidence that Khan’s headscarf was detrimental to sales, Rogers was not having any of it. As she put it: ”Abercrombie only offers unsubstantiated opinion testimony of its own employees to support its claim of undue hardship.”
A&F trotted out its beleagued spokesperson Bruce MacKenzie who was probably like “Do I really have to keep making up excuses for this shit?” but instead said ”Abercrombie & Fitch does not discriminate based on religion and we grant religious accommodations when reasonable.” This is a funny joke, because A&F does discriminate based on religion! And also other things. Haha, Bruce MacKenzie. Classic.
Later this month, deliberations will begin over how much money the company will have to pay out to settle the suit. That’s all well and good and Khan is certainly deserving of some monetary compensation, but A&F is going to pay their way out and go back to business as usual. San Fernando Valley Barbie.
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