Abercrombie and Fitch Ruling

I would like to take the time to discuss a recent Supreme Court ruling in the case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores. In this case a Muslim woman was suing Abercrombie & Fitch because she was denied a position at their store based on her religious attire. The Supreme Court did not side with Samantha Elauf but rather sent it back to the appeals court. The appeals court had overturned a prior ruling where Samantha Elauf was awarded $20,000 because Abercrombie & Fitch was not notified that a religious accommodation was required.

Rather than concern ourselves here with the merits of the case, I want to consider the injustice of the whole matter. No one is entitled to a job. If a job applicant is unwilling to provide the type of service the employer requests, the employer is not obligated to hire that individual. In a service oriented position, the dress of an employee reflects on the company itself. If a person wishes to dress in a way not consistent with the image an employer wants to present, that person should not be seeking that position.

A job is a voluntary contract between two or more people. If one of those persons does not want to fulfill the terms of the contract, he or she has the option to not enter into the agreement.

Religious freedom does not entitle someone to demand special treatment. Religious freedom means you can practice whatever religion you want, or no religion at all, as long as you do not initiate force or fraud on anyone else.

The Supreme Court had an opportunity to at least provide as much justice as they could. Deciding that the appeals court was correct would have protected the rights of Abercrombie & Fitch to the best that the Supreme Court likely could have done as the constitutionality of the law was not in question.

Instead, they sent the case back to the appeals court with a ruling that her case had merit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The appeals court, given the Supreme Court ruling, will likely side with Samantha Elauf. The ruling will amount to extortion, pay a person who you did not harm an amount for injuries that were not inflicted.

In the end, justice will not likely prevail.


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