LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF NEED FOR EMPLOYER TO PROVIDE RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION WILL NOT BAR A SUIT FOR DISCRIMINATORY FAILURE TO HIRE
The U.S.. Supreme Court, on June 1, 2015, decided that an employer can be liable for religious discrimination, under Title VII, when applying a seemingly neutral employee policy, applicable to all employees, against a member of a religion, who has not asked for any accommodation, but the employer suspects that one might be asked for, and therefore directs that the job applicant not be hired. This was in the case of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. This case involved a Muslim woman, Samantha Elauf, wearing a head scarf when interviewed for employment, who never mentioned that she was wearing the scarf for religious purposes, or that she needed any accommodation from the employer to be allowed to wear the scarf at work. The Company had a “Look Policy” in place, applicable to all employees, governing its employees’ manner of dressing while at work.