The case of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Abercrombie & Fitch centers on Samantha Elauf who wore a hijab to her interview with Abercrombie & Fitch for a sales position. She was deemed ineligible for hire due to the store’s headwear policy.
The NAE joined the Christian Legal Society, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Adventist Church, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, American Jewish Committee and Sikh Coalition in support of Elauf and of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which requires employers to take steps to “reasonably accommodate… religious observance or practice.”
In 2011, a federal trial judge sided with the EEOC, but a ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed saying that Elauf failed to tell the manager that she would need a religious accommodation. The amici brief filed by the NAE and others argues that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling places responsibility on the applicant at the job interview, a point when the applicant is most vulnerable.