While she was hired wearing a hijab, she was fired four months later after she said she was told to remove it. The 20-year-old woman says it is part of the company’s “look policy.”
As a threshold matter, I fail to see why the store would not want women to wear hijabs. Whatever “look” it is going for, I assume a significant number of its customers are Muslim and such diversity would help, not hurt, business. It also denies these women the full opportunity to work. I personally think that is a terrible policy.
We have previously discussed the right of businesses to insist on certain looks connected to their corporate image from Hooters to television anchors to other businesses (here and here). What if Abercrombie simply did not want religious displays of any kind from crosses to hijabs? Should a company be allowed to create look policies that advance its corporate interests so long as it does not involve racial discrimination? Some businesses like Victoria’s Secret may only want to hire women while others may want younger salespersons. Abercrombie could be sensitive to some women who view hijab as sexist, as they do in France. I do not agree with that view but should a company be allowed to insist on compliance with such “look policies”? What do you think?
Source: SF Chronicle