You may have heard about the 8-1 Supreme Court decision regarding a discrimination lawsuit brought by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of Samantha Elauf against Abercrombie and Fitch stores.
Ms. Elauf is a Muslim who wears a Hijab, a black headscarf, which A & F said would clash with the companies “Look Policy,” and thus did not hire her.
In 2013, the retailer confirmed to Business Insider that it doesn’t sell black clothing and “discourages its employees from wearing black.” It’s evidently well-known throughout A & F that CEO Michael Jeffries doesn’t care for black.
“Mike hates the color, and so we’re not supposed to wear it at work,” an anonymous employee told Business Insider.
A statement provided by the company read: “Abercrombie & Fitch does not sell black clothing and discourages wearing it at our home office and in our stores, because we are a casual lifestyle brand and feel black clothing is formal. We have nothing against black clothing and feel it is perfectly appropriate for things like tuxedos.”
Yesterday, the New York Times reported: “Justice Scalia, writing for seven justices, said Ms. Elauf did not have to make a specific request for a religious accommodation to obtain relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination in hiring.”
“Title VII forbids adverse employment decisions made with a forbidden motive,” Justice Scalia said from the bench, “whether this motive derives from actual knowledge, a well-founded suspicion or merely a hunch.” Justice Samuel Alito added that “I would hold,” he wrote, “that an employer cannot be held liable for taking an adverse action because of an employee’s religious practice unless the employer knows that the employee engages in the practice for a religious reason.” He added that in this case there was “ample evidence” that “Abercrombie knew that Elauf is a Muslim and that she wore the scarf for a religious reason.”
The Times then quoted a religious activist regarding the decision. “The decision by the Supreme Court today affirmed the basic right to practice one’s faith freely without fear of being denied the opportunity to pursue the American dream,” said Gurjot Kaur, senior staff attorney of the Sikh Coalition, a national advocacy group.
Well that’s rich. What about all the Christians small business owners trying to pursue their American dreams, being forced by government to take part in homosexual weddings, despite their religious beliefs. I guess it’s okay to deny them their “basic right to practice their faith freely.”
A & F had argued that “job applicants should not be allowed ‘to remain silent and to assume that the employer recognizes the religious motivations behind their fashion decisions.'”
Okay, that’s a pretty lame excuse. Scalia and Alito were right about that, but in my opinion – only that. Anyone with eyes could see that the headscarf wasn’t merely a fashion statement.
Appearance aside – is this where we have come, I asked rhetorically? Of course it is. Political correctness has brought us to the point where a company must hire someone because the government says so, or, conversely, a company can’t fire an employee without the blessing of the feds.
So why don’t we just cut out the middleman? Why not? It’s been done with student loans, and soon health insurance companies will go the way of the dodo under Obamacare.
Why not just create a new government department – the Federal Hiring Administration. It will be great! Companies will no longer have to collect all those silly resumes or interview all those pesky applicants, possibly landing themselves in hot water – open to an EEOC lawsuit.
Let’s just let the government take care all hiring and firing. The IRS can interview applicants, the TSA can do background checks and then determine where the applicant will must be employed. Employers can just sit back and let the well-qualified candidates roll in because we can always depend on government to get it right.
We are this close to the collective utopia progressives in government have been promising for many decades. Maybe this Supreme Court decision will finally get us there.
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