Transcript for Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch
Another big ruling from the Supreme Court today the justices ruling in favor of a Muslim woman Samantha Elop who was denied a job at Abercrombie & Fitch due to her head scar. Abercrombie denied her employment claiming a head scarf had violated the looked policy. Of the store. I'm Caroline Costello in New York the Supreme Court ruled eight to one here finding that the retailer failed to accommodate. Joining us now ABC news legal contributor Kate Shaw heat. Don't even Abercrombie is look that it's trying to project in advertisements as well as in store. Was this a slam dunk case of discrimination for you off or not. While the trial court thought it was a slam dunk the Court of Appeals actually reversed on its side with Abercrombie said that look she never even. Asked for religious accommodations they couldn't even discriminating against her since since she essentially didn't give them a chance to accommodate her. But I think it's fair to describe Supreme Court victory for her as a slam dunk the justice he won. Believed that he really wasn't her bird come forward and asked for religious accommodation. Income that was one thing you have to ask for that religious accommodation. What exactly was the court's answer to that argument on Abercrombie is the half. It's not really her burden essentially if you can show that this. The fact that you would have needed to make a religious accommodation was in motivating factor in decision not to hire or any kind of employment discrimination. That's enough to go forward. You know Abercrombie store that's trying to project a certainly do they have any any legal recourse and he legal arguments here in defense of wanting to maintain. That look and wanting employees to look and dress a certain way. You know as an independent a look policy actually just kind of interesting so there's now significantly more individual freedom for signals of folks to lactic addresses the issues. I didn't think because they don't have any ability to do it but essentially just need to be kind of a balance the prospective employee needs to be able to seek an accommodation or. He Abercrombie would be to sort of show he would be unduly burdens summer under a cause undue hardship in order for it to accommodate. Someone's religious beliefs and so doesn't have no grounds. But here it didn't have a particularly compelling case that you gave an example of wanting to be a hair model and going and perhaps not having any hair or having. You know shaped head that is it a pretty airline but when weekends in this area. Britain or even a case like this ready fewer. Religious Muslim you were were head scarf. I think an employer who say. Was a here modeling agency or something on would have a pretty compelling case and he couldn't accommodate your desire to do the job. Wearing head scarf so it's were depends on the nature of the work and how difficult it would be for an employer to accommodate religious claim. But here just didn't seem is that would've been difficult. The justices have recently been siding more and more with religious groups people coming forward with these. Religious arguments is this sort of new norm that we're seeing I think potentially their tune. Now now with this case to big decisions this term both siding with religious claimants. Action the first one also a Muslim an inmate in Arkansas department of corrections wanted to grow a beard it was inconsistent with DOC policy. And he prevailed in the Supreme Court so that's two significant religious liberty claims. On that have won just in this term I think depending on what the court does and think same sex marriage case if it rules in favor marriage equality. You probably will see more religious liberty objections by people like photographers were makers who don't want to participate in same sex marriage ceremonies. And a lot of those religious liberty questions are answered Berkeley reports so. So I think there's probably a lot that we will still see in this sphere more to come up anchoring ABC's Kate thank you so much we appreciate it. He can keep up with the story in real time Mike Allen ABC news staff and storing the story for exclusive update. Armed ago. I'm talented fellow in New York.
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