In 2011 we reported on Hani Khan, who was suing Abercrombie & Fitch after she was fired from a Hollister store (a subsidiary of Abercrombie). Khan worked in the stockroom, but she was fired because her hijab didn’t match the company’s “look policy.” Khan’s case was one of three the EEOC brought against Abercrombie. The company’s policy sounds not unlike that of the school that sent Tianna Parker home for having dreadlocks.
Now a federal judge has ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch owes Khan damages. From NBC:
Abercrombie argued to the court that store associates should be classified as “living advertisements,” and that their appearance is protected by commercial speech.
Judge Rogers found that argument wanting, noting that employees may wear other brands.
The judge also noted that Khan had interviewed wearing a headscarf and that her job was to fold clothes in the stockroom, where she wasn’t visible to customers. In the four months that she worked at Hollister before the district manager spotted her, she was on the floor just one to four times a shift.
Finally, the judge said, no customers had complained, and Abercrombie couldn’t show that Khan’s hijab had hurt sales.
Also, not letting her wear the hijab is, ya know, super Islamophobic.
The court has yet to decide the amount of damages Khan will receive. I’m glad she won – it’s about time Abercrombie’s super bigoted look policy had its day in court.