Abercrombie & Fitch is being sued by a 20-year-old Muslim woman after she was fired for wearing a hijab, a scarf Muslim women wear to show modesty in public.
Hani Khan, working at a Hollister store in Foster City, CA said that it was the first time she faced discrimination since wearing the scarf as a child.
According to the the South San Francisco Patch:
Khan, who was 19 at the time, said she was looking for a job to help her pay expenses as a college student. She applied at Hollister Co. because friends worked at the store.
“They told me they were hiring, and it seemed like a fun place to work,” Khan said.
Khan said she wore her headscarf to the interview, and the hiring manager asked her if she would wear a hijab in company colors to comply with Abercrombie & Fitch’s “look policy,” which Khan said she agreed to do. The “look policy” sets guidelines for employee attire and is distributed in the employee manual, according to Zahrah Billoo, one of Khan’s attorneys from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“When I got hired by the store manager, they didn’t have a problem,” Khan said.
In early February 2010, a district manager saw Khan at work while visiting the store, according to the lawsuit. On Feb. 15, the district manager called Khan into a meeting and asked her to speak on the phone with Abercrombie & Fitch’s director of human resources, Amy Yoakum, according to the lawsuit.
Khan said Yoakum told her the hijab violated the company’s “look policy” and asked her if she would remove the hijab. When she refused to do so, citing her religious beliefs, Yoakum suspended her, Khan said.
A week later, Yoakum again asked Khan if she would remove her hijab at work. When Khan again refused, Yoakum said that Abercrombie & Fitch couldn’t accommodate her religious observance and fired her, according to the complaint.
Since filing the lawsuit, Khan has been receiving death threats. It is the fourth lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch.