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Alleged religious discrimination case heads to U.S. Supreme Court

As the population and its beliefs grow more diverse in Oklahoma, and a larger pool of people from different racial and religious groups seeking employment increases, it's possible that there will be employment discrimination. The law has attempted to put rules for anti-discrimination in place to prevent this from happening and punish the offenders if it does. However, there are instances when it still occurs and those who are victimized will seek to have their rights upheld through legal means.

A 17-year-old Muslim girl filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch after she was denied a job at their Abercrombie Kids store because her beliefs require her to wear a hijab. According to the company, it was a violation of how they want their employees to look. The case has moved through the courts and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The company states that she didn't inform them that she wore the hijab for religious reasons. She says that she did. A ruling in federal court was made in favor of the company, but the Supreme Court will listen to arguments in this matter.

There are numerous ways in which a worker can be discriminated against. It can be based on sex, race, religion, age and more. Protections according to the law are in place to prevent this from happening and for those who have been victimized by it to take legal steps in the event it does happen. This occurs frequently for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it's a simple misunderstanding. In other cases, it's done intentionally because of a personal or systematic bias at that particular company. Regardless of the reason, it's illegal and those who have faced it have the right to consider litigation to recover damages.

In this case, Abercrombie & Fitch denied a Muslim girl who is required to wear a hijab a part-time job due to a violation of their policy on how employees need to appear. The case has been moving through the system and will soon be heard by the Supreme Court. Most cases don't go to this extreme in that they head to the highest court in the land, but when there is a case of religious discrimination it's important to know how to move forward with a legal filing assisted by an experienced legal professional.

Source: The Oklahoman, "U.S. Supreme Court to hear Tulsa head scarf case," Chris Casteel, Oct. 2, 2014

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