Is Abercrombie & Fitch a discriminatory retail corporation? I believe Hani Khan, a scarf wearing Muslimah, is sure of it. Ms. Khan was hired at a Hollister in San Mateo, CA back in October 2009. Hollister is one of the many sister companies owned by Abercrombie & Fitch. Her Hollister store manager at that time told her that the “hijab” does not and will not go against Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy.”
Statements of A&F’s Classic American “Look Policy”:
- Employees are expected to have a clean, natural, classic hairstyle
- Make-up must enhance natural features and create a fresh, natural appearance
- Fingernails must be clean and presentable and should not extend more than one quarter-inch beyond the tip of the finger
- Forbids colored fingernail polish
- Facial hair is banned and inconspicuous tattoos are acceptable only if “they represent the Abercrombie” look
The manager’s statement later proved false. In February 2010, the district manager visited the store and what ensued led to Ms. Khan’s lawsuit. The Hollister official told her that she needed to stop wearing the hijab while working. She refused and was consequently suspended and fired a week later.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of Ms. Khan in 2011. The Judge ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch violated federal law when the company fired the Muslim worker. Once again, the company is in the headlines due to their discriminatory decisions. In 2009, the company restricted an employee to working out of customers’ sight due to the employee having a prosthetic arm. Is this what Americans want from a retail store? Do you believe the judge’s verdict is a “win” for society? Is this a “win” for the Muslims in America?
Why would anyone in their right mind want to work for a company that mistreats their employees? Were there no other places hiring? More specifically, when was the last time you saw a “Hijabi” working at a store like Abercrombie? That’s like seeing one of their blond, blue-eyed, soulless androgynous “models” working at the county library or better yet the local Halal Meat store. You just don’t see it.
[Tweet “A&F has a “Look Policy” that is sexist and racist.”]That’s a fact. So Muslims should stay away from working at stores that degrade and objectify women. It’s odd to see a fully clothed hijabi woman selling you beach booty shorts and a tank top. We are better than that! I hope the Judge awards Hani Khan a ton of $$$. Just so she will never have to work at a trashy place like A&F.
Update (9/28/2013): Abercrombie & Fitch will pay Hani Khan $48,000. The company agreed to make religious accommodations and allow workers to wear head scarves as part of a settlement. Regardless of whether A&F is going to make “religious accommodations” a Muslim should not be seeking employment there. I’d like to know your thought on the matter. Feel free to leave a comment below whether Muslims should work at stores like A&F or not?