Supreme Court: Religious Discrimination Motivated By Ignorance Still Unlawful

The U.S. Supreme Court explained that in order to prove employment discrimination on the basis of religion, it is not necessary to show that the employer had actual knowledge of the need for a religious accommodation. Rather, unlawful discrimination occurs when a decision is motivated by discrimination against a religious belief, observance or practice.

A Sikh, a Hasid, a Muslim and a Nun Walk Into Abercrombie & Fitch

Samantha Elauf was seventeen years old when she showed up for an interview at an Abercrombie store wearing a hijab - a Muslim head scarf. Abercrombie refused to hire Ms. Elauf because it assumed she wore the scarf for religious reasons and that her religious practice would not allow her to comply with its “Look Policy”. The oral argument before the Supreme Court this past month reveals how a seemingly simple case can confuse even our most esteemed jurists when it presents tough legal questions at the core of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment based on religion. The question before the Court – when when it comes to talking about religion on an interview, who goes first. Read on for the punch line ...