"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Supreme Court rules for Muslim woman denied job at clothing store

A Civil Libertarian's Nightmare

  • Personally I have no problem hiring a Sikh with a turban or a Jew with a yamaka.  But at some point your "right" to thrust your religion in the face of strangers and co-workers becomes offensive, even oppressive and will damage your business.. 

(CNN)  -  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who has sued retailer Abercrombie & Fitch when the store failed to hire her because she wore a head scarf in observance of her religion.
The court ruled 8-1 that the company failed to accommodate Samantha Elauf's religious needs when she was not hired on the basis that her hijab violated company dress policy. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented with part of the ruling but concurred with the rest.
Abercrombie & Fitch argued that Elauf couldn't succeed without first showing that the employer had "actual knowledge" of her need for a religious accommodation. But the Court disagreed, and sent the case back down to the lower court for further consideration.
"An applicant need show only that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had knowledge of his need," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority.
The case was being closely watched by other retailers with so called "look policies" as well as religious liberty groups who believe that an employee shouldn't have to explain their religious justification if the employer already has reason to know it.
"The significance of today's ruling is that an employer cannot put its head in the sand when it has reason to believe that an applicant will need a religious accommodation," said Gregory Lipper of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who joined a brief in favor of Elauf.
    "It means that if an employer thinks a potential employee needs a religious accommodation, than the employer needs to make a reasonable effort to accommodate; it can't reject the applicant and then plead ignorance, " he said.
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