Abercrombie & Fitch has done it yet again.
Employee Hani Khan, 18, was fired from her job at the popular retail store after refusing to remove her hijab while working. The hijab is a head scarf worn by Muslim women to show modesty, but to Abercrombie & Fitch, the hijab simply does not fit their look.
After four months of working with the company, Khan was approached about her head scarf. Naturally she felt uncomfortable having to explain the cultural background behind the tradition. When she refused to take it off, she was terminated from her job. Abercrombie & Fitch offered to re-hire her 11 days later, but with a catch – she could only return if she no longer wore her hijab. Khan turned down the offer.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on Khan’s behalf in 2011. Although the company claims that it does not discriminate based on religion, Abercrombie & Fitch commented that they believed the hijab would negatively affect sales.
Of course, the company was not able to provide any proof of a decline in sales while Khan wore the head scarf while working.
It is important to note that this is not the first time Abercrombie & Fitch has been publicly scorned for discrimination. The company received quite the amount of backlash when chief executive Mark Jeffries openly commented that Abercrombie and Fitch is made for the “cool kids” and plus-sized women were not part of that group.
Many believe that the company’s reputation has been tarnished since those statements and unfortunately, Abercrombie & Fitch seems to continue digging its own grave.