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Head scarf cost teen A&F job, suit says

San Francisco, CA: Abercrombie & Fitch is facing a discrimination lawsuit alleging that it denied a Muslim teenager a job because she wore a hijab, or head scarf.

The suit was filed Wednedsay, September 1, 2010, in California by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Halla Banafa, 18, who applied for a position stocking merchandise at the Abercrombie Kids store in the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA, in March 2008.

The teen, who wears a hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, says the manager asked if she was Muslim and required to wear a head scarf, then marked "not Abercrombie look" on the young woman's interview form.

An earlier lawsuit filed in September 2009 made similar allegations against the retailer. The earlier suit filed by the EEOC against Abercrombie & Fitch involved an Abercrombie Kids store, this one in Oklahoma. It also alleged a Muslim teenager applied for a job, this one in sales, but she was told her head scarf violated the store's "look policy."

The suit seeks back pay for the teen, compensatory and punitive damages, and a permanent injunction against the retailer from participating in what it describes as discriminatory employment practices.

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Published on Sep-2-10


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