NAALA Conference Call to Discuss Strategy in
U.S. Supreme Court Case: EEOC v. Abercrombie
When: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 4:30pm EST
Where: Call in Teleconference
Phone Number: 605-475-6150
Access Code: 477746
Why: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has received consent to submit an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. and would greatly appreciate your participation, input, and advice. The brief must be submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States by December 3, 2014.
10th Circuit Holding: The Tenth Circuit held that “Abercrombie is entitled to summary judgment because there is no genuine dispute of material fact regarding this key point: [The prospective employee] never informed Abercrombie prior to its hiring decision that her practice of wearing a hijab was based on her religious beliefs and (because she felt religiously obliged to wear it) that she would need an accommodation for the practice, because of a conflict between it and Abercrombie’s clothing policy.”
Issue: The issue in the case is whether an employer can be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a “religious observance and practice” only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required and the employer’s actual knowledge resulted from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee.
ADC’s Interest: ADC’s interest in this case arises from continuous increase in religious discrimination by employers in both the public and private sectors. Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge any individual or discriminate in respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on the individual’s religion. The law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations in respect to an employee or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would cause undue hardship on the conduct of [its] business. However, if the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision is affirmed, the law will effectively authorize employers to discriminate based on religion under the guise of branding, headwear, and/or “look” policy and effectively exclude Muslims and Sikhs from employment. ADC fears a pervasive ripple effect of employment discrimination against Muslims and Sikhs throughout the country.
Please let us know if you will be able to participate in the conference call, provide assistance with the amicus brief, or both. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-244-2990.
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