Religious Discrimination Victory in U.S. Supreme Court for Employees

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Monday in a religious bias suit against Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc., reversing a Tenth Circuit decision that said an unsuccessful Muslim job applicant needed to inform Abercrombie she wore a headscarf for religious reasons.

Instead, the Court stated, “Abercrombie’s primary argument is that an applicant cannot show disparate treatment without first showing that an employer has ‘actual knowledge’ of the applicant’s need for an accommodation. We disagree. Instead, an applicant need only show that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority.

 “The EEOC applauds the Supreme Court’s decision affirming that employers may not make an applicant’s religious practice a factor in employment decisions,” EEOC Chair Jenny Yang said in a statement Monday.  “This ruling protects the rights of workers to equal treatment in the workplace without having to sacrifice their religious beliefs or practices.”



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