By Courtney Trenwith
US Supreme Court judges to deliver verdict on Muslim woman who was denied a job with Abercrombie & Fitch
The US Supreme Court looks set to rule in favour of a woman who claims fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch denied her a job because she wore a Muslim head scarf, according to media reports.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito used a common joke about a Sikh, a Hasidic Jew, a Muslim and a nun each applying for the same job in indicating that he and most of the nine presiding judges would side with the Muslim woman, the Washington Times reported.
The Daily Mail also said it appeared the court's four liberal justices were likely to vote in favour of Samantha Elauf, as well as at least one of the court's conservatives, Justice Alito.
Abercrombie & Fitch has argued Elauf cannot claim discrimination because she didn’t say anything about religion during her interview.
The legal argument will rest on whether she was required to ask the company to accommodate her religious practice.
Elauf was wearing the hijab at her job interview in 2008 and although she did not raise her religion during the discussion, the assistant manager who interviewed her told the court she assumed she was wearing it for religious reasons.
The assistant manager said she had been impressed by Elauf but after consulting the manager, they did not hire her because wearing the scarf violated its “look policy” for sales staff.
Elauf, who is being represented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was originally awarded $20,000 compensation but that was thrown out by an appeals judge.
The Supreme Court judgement is expected in June.