Supreme Court/Religious Freedom 1, Abercrombie & Fitch 0

It’s always nice when the Supreme Court comes down on the side of justice, but it’s even better when it includes coming down against Abercrombie & Fitch. The court sided with Samantha Elauf, who was rejected from a job at the clothing retailer because of her headscarf, which she wears because she is Muslim. The retailer argued that she couldn’t be hired as they don’t allow employees to wear headwear because it violates the company’s “Look Policy.”

The ban on “disparate treatment” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “prohibits actions taken with the motive of avoiding the need for accommodating a religious practice,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the Supreme Court on Monday. “A request for accommodation, or the employer’s certainty that the practice exists, may make it easier to infer motive, but is not a necessary condition of liability. 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,” he wrote. “We disagree. Instead, an applicant need only show that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision.”

Now if only the Supreme Court could do something about the nasty, over-cologned Axe-spray-type essence that wafts out of that store …

Team Blackness also discussed a horrible new reality show on CBS that pits poor families against each other for money, more racist remarks from Cliven Bundy, and even more bad news for unarmed black people when it comes to the police.

Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe On Stitcher | Direct Download | RSS

 






92 replies
  1. 1
    Lee says:

    I have not seen the ever predicable wing-nut freak-out over this. Has anyone?

  2. 2
    Tommy says:

    @Lee: Nope and I will try to stay away from places where I could. I don’t think any women, heck any person should be forced to wear something for a religion. But if they choose to they should be able. That should be protected and I say that as an atheist.

  3. 3
    orogeny says:

    Just a question. If Sister Mary Margaret, my 6th grade teacher, decided that she wanted to work at A&F, in her full Benedictine habit. would they have to hire her and let her work in that outfit? What if she decided on Hooters instead?

  4. 4
    shell says:

    After all this horrendous publicity has come out about it, I can’t believe they’re still going ahead with this despicable show.

  5. 5
    Lee says:

    @orogeny: Hooters has a uniform which IIRC the company provides. So not so much there.

    A&F does not have a uniform so yes at A&F.

  6. 6
    Tommy says:

    @orogeny: Hard question. Most retail outlets want something of a “uniform.” Say khakis and a short sleeve shirt with the company logo. They of course do that to convey a unified appearance to customers.

    I would think if you wear everything else and a women wants to wear a Hijab that shouldn’t exempt her from employment.

    As for Hooters they have won lawsuit after lawsuit for their attire.

  7. 7
    orogeny says:

    @Lee: So, a company cannot specify, a business suit, or any other specific mode of dressing beyond a defined uniform? I’m as liberal as the next guy or girl, but it just seems to me that a business should be able to specify how their employees dress. Whether it’s a head scarf, or a yarmulke, or a big wooden cross hung around one’s neck, that religious crap doesn’t trump my rights as the business owner, or at least it shouldn’t.

  8. 8
    Lee says:

    @Tommy: I’m pretty sure that if a company wants specific attire (like Hooters) they have to provide it.

    If they want something generic then the employee provides. For instance Target wants khaki pants and a ‘red-ish’ top. So employees provide that attire.

  9. 9
    orogeny says:

    @Tommy:

    What makes the hijab different from, say, a large wooden cross, worn around the neck outside one’s shirt?

  10. 10
    Lee says:

    @orogeny: It has been awhile since I dealt with this (In a past life I used to own a small business as well as manage movie theatres). IIRC, they can specify ‘professional attire’ or other generic terms.

    So a sikh can wear a 3 piece suit & still meet the ‘professional attire’ requirement. If you have no requirements on dress then you would get into a bit of trouble for terminating someone for wearing religious attire.

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @orogeny: I am not sure it is different.

    It is a hard, hard topic.

    I had a job and my boss told me “you are getting paid almost $200,000/year. Your suits could be better.” I thought I had bought nice clothes from the Brooks Brother outlet.

    Is it OK for my boss to tell me to buy some custom make suits from Tom James?

  12. 12
    A guy says:

    Horrible rule

  13. 13
    orogeny says:

    Bah! I’m just getting really sick of how religion is being used to get special treatment. I detest A&F, but if they want their business to have a certain ambiance, and they feel that a particular item of apparel, whether it’s bib overalls or a hijab, doesn’t help to create that, then they should be able to tell that employee, “don’t wear the again or you’re gone,” without government interference.

  14. 14
    Lee says:

    @Tommy:

    I second the motion this is a tough topic. I’m still not sure how A&F could have avoided problems with this and still kept their ‘Look Policy’ in place.

    Offered her the job and then termed her for not conforming to the look policy?

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    A&F doesn’t have its own retail outlets in Malaysia, as far as I know, but here there would be no issue. A Muslim woman employee expects to be free to cover her head if she chooses. (They typically tuck the scarf or other covering inside the work uniform. It works for the cops, it works for the army; I’d like to see a retailer try to argue it doesn’t work for them.) Nor, absent a safety issue, would an employer dare forbid a Sikh man his beard and turban.

  16. 16
    orogeny says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Why should your religion trump my right to run my business as I see fit, within the law? Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. Practice it at home, in church, anywhere you want to as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else. But, the fact that someone chooses adhere to dogma that requires them to dress or act in a particular way doesn’t mean that I should have to go out of my way to accommodate it.

  17. 17
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Team Blackness also discussed a horrible new reality show on CBS that pits poor families against each other for money

    Please tell me it’s called “The Hunger Games”.

    If not, it will be soon enough.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    @orogeny:
    So you reckon A&F should be free to refuse to hire a devout Muslim woman? Ooookay.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    It’s called The Briefcase. That’s what the money comes in.

  20. 20
    orogeny says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    If she doesn’t want to meet the dress code, that’s right. If a devout Amish woman applies and makes it clear that she’s not going to abide by that standard, then she needs to find some place different to work. Should a devout Muslim be allowed to work in a bar, but refuse to serve spirits?

  21. 21
    Lee says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Actually it is more like a business owner should be free to hire (or not) anyone they want.

    I think the best course of action for A&F in this would have been to stick with a generic ‘She does not fit the Look Policy’. They got in trouble when there was an email trail that it was specifically for her headscarf.

  22. 22
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Nor, absent a safety issue, would an employer dare forbid a Sikh man his beard and turban.

    @Amir Khalid: I think even the DoD caved on that one here, but nothing else. They had to figure out some acceptable substitute for the dagger, though. Took decades.

    All that being said, I think frankly they should not have caved to the Sikhs, and that France has got it right; if you deal with the public, in any way, shape or form, no religious items/dress/headgear to be worn AT ALL.

  23. 23
    henqiguai says:

    @Lee (#14):

    I’m still not sure how A&F could have avoided problems with this and still kept their ‘Look Policy’ in place.

    Easy; let her wear the scarf but otherwise conform to the dress code on clothing. It’s not difficult and as an employee you get a discount and I think you may even ‘borrow’ some items for work (don’t remember from my daughter’s comments who is an A&F employee – currently A&F Kids so, no ‘borrowing’). A&F was just being dickish and got *slapped* by the court.

  24. 24
    orogeny says:

    @henqiguai:

    “let her wear the scarf but otherwise conform to the dress code on clothing”

    Why?

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    So for once in its life, the Supreme Court passed something that protected the religious freedoms of employees rather than the religious freedoms of Corporate-Americans to screw their employees.

    Yeah, not going to bitch about this one.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @orogeny: There is a big difference between making an accommodation for a headscarf and having someone indicate that they will not perform the duties for which they were hired.

  27. 27
    Lee says:

    @henqiguai:

    …let her wear the scarf but otherwise conform to the dress code on clothing….

    Then they no longer have the ‘Look Policy’ in place.

    Another way they could have avoided this was if in the in person interview they required the person to ‘dress for work’ & if anyone arrives with something on their noggin (cap, cowboy hat, beanie with a propeller, etc) they are summarily rejected.

    Again I think it comes down to it was specifically because of the head scarf.

  28. 28
    ThresherK says:

    The horrible new reality show on CBS that pits poor families against each other for money.

    I was thinking: Money? That’s an expensive item inthe production budget.

    It’d be so much more feasible if they played for something cheaper, like Kansas TANF debit cards. The lesson would be the same, and isn’t that the important thing?

  29. 29
    henqiguai says:

    @orogeny (#24): Why not? What’s wrong with the otherwise tasteful, and quite unobtrusive, head scarf? Next thing you’ll be saying that businesses are perfectly within their right to tell African blacks they can’t wear corn-rows; dreads are a different issue, though Rastafarian beliefs are legitimate religious beliefs. I believe the Army is currently dealing with a requirement that Black women buzz cut, relax, process, or wear a wig. That’s not going too well for the Army. Or you could try France’s approach as CONGRATULATIONS stated above —

    and that France has got it right; if you deal with the public, in any way, shape or form, no religious items/dress/headgear to be worn AT ALL.

    Good luck with that…

  30. 30
    henqiguai says:

    @Lee (#27):

    Then they no longer have the ‘Look Policy’ in place.

    What, preppy white boy/girl?

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thank you.

  32. 32
    Poopyman says:

    O/T, because it looks like this thread needs one:

    Washington (CNN)Mike Huckabee says there’s a time he wishes he could’ve been transgender: When it was time to hit the high school showers.

    If he “could have felt like a woman,” the Republican former Arkansas governor said earlier this year, then he could have seen his female classmates without their clothes on.

    “Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” Huckabee said.

    “I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’ You’re laughing because it sounds so ridiculous doesn’t it?”

    Huckabee’s comments came in February at the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. They were uploaded to YouTube over the weekend by World Net Daily and picked up more prominently by BuzzFeed on Tuesday.

    A Huckabee spokeswoman did not respond to CNN’s request for a comment on those remarks.

    Stay classy, Mikey.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    Now if only the Supreme Court could do something about the nasty, over-cologned Axe-spray-type essence that wafts out of that store …

    Thank dog I don’t have to suffer through that store with my kids anymore. Between the Abercrombie stench and the music, it was a headache shopping there.

    Oh and whatever that stench is they spray all over the store, it takes about 3 washes to get out of the clothes.

  34. 34
    Lee says:

    @henqiguai:

    It depends on the business. If I own a septic tank pumping company or a garment sweatshop, I don’t care what my employees hair (or anything else) looks like.

    If I own a business that depends on presentation (e.g. A&F ‘Look Policy’) then yes I should have a say. This is why Hooters provides a uniform for their staff and it is required to wear.

  35. 35
    Andrey says:

    @orogeny: “Why should your religion trump my right to run my business as I see fit, within the law?”

    The short version is, “help the weak”.

    All else being equal, the law should favor a commonly oppressed category over one that is not. Also, all else being equal, the law should favor the party with less power in a specific interaction. Religion is a more commonly oppressed category than business-owner; further, the employee is the party with less power in the employee-employer relationship.

    Compare for reference, a hypothetical where a Christian employer fires a gay man. There, religious freedom should not trump, because “gay” is more commonly oppressed than “religion”, and again the employee is the party with less power.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    I would love a day, or week, where we all turned out in hijabs to go about our business. A la the Danes and their reaction to the gold star edicts.

    Am glad Samantha won her case. It was a good decision. A Muslim woman should be free to cover her hair, or not, as she decides and feels best.

    FWIW: can you imagine if Ms. Elauf had applied to American Airlines as a flight attendant? Have any of you ever seen a hijab on cabin crew in this country?

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @Poopyman: That is so clueless of Huckabee. More evidence of how cloistered the GOP right is.

  38. 38
    Laertes says:

    @orogeny:

    But, the fact that someone chooses adhere to dogma that requires them to dress or act in a particular way doesn’t mean that I should have to go out of my way to accommodate it.

    Wrong. You do, in fact, have to go out of your way to accommodate it.

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    Regarding Hooters, I understand they provide the servers with “uniforms” consisting of t-shirts with the logo and orange short-shorts, and that’s how they get away with their requirements. Does anyone know if they’re allowed to dictate the size of clothing the server has to wear? Or the required cup-size of the servers themselves? In the commercials, the shirts and shorts are always super tight, and the servers are definitely NOT members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, but that may be an instance of false advertising for all I know.

  40. 40
    orogeny says:

    @Andrey:

    The man is not gay because of a chosen religious belief. It’s the fact that being gay is not a choice that makes it something that needs to be protected.

  41. 41
    orogeny says:

    @Laertes:

    Why? Do I have to allow you to carry your assault rifle as well?

  42. 42
    gian says:

    So does this mean the NY Yankees players will have “religious” facial hair now?

  43. 43
    henqiguai says:

    @Lee (#34):

    It depends on the business. If I own a septic tank pumping company or a garment sweatshop, I don’t care what my employees hair (or anything else) looks like.

    So, skin bleaching for the darkies applying for any jobs in your space, eh?

    Yeah, I know. But low hanging fruit and always take the (cheap) easy shots.

  44. 44
    SatanicPanic says:

    hmm, yeah, I am going to say I don’t really think A & F should have to allow people to wear religious accessories, but I also don’t want to be seen siding with the racism and/or Islamophobia that probably went along with this policy. Because A & F is racist as hell, especially that creeper who used to be CEO. So uh, yeah, I don’t know where to stand on this one.

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    A difference between us and France is that we tolerate a large amount of religious observance in public, mainly Christian (see why nudity is such an issue here). Because we allow Christian observance, by the first Amendment, we have to allow others.

    And no, we couldn’t suddenly separate out the Christian aspects.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I’d guess that if Hooters has a minimum bra size requirement for its female servers, which it probably does at that, it knows better than to put it in writing.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @orogeny: Why? Because we, as a society, decided quite a while ago that we were going to protect people from being discriminated against due to religion

  48. 48
    Laertes says:

    @orogeny:

    Why?

    Because the benefit to the employee is great, and the cost to the employer is tiny. Part of getting along with one another is making tiny accommodations. Sometimes people–especially people with wealth and power–are assholes and think that they don’t have to, so we make laws to say that yes they do.

    Do I have to allow you to carry your assault rifle as well?

    No.

  49. 49
    goblue72 says:

    Get ready for an ACA rogering. I am sure I am just projecting my anti-right winger biases, but it just seems like SCOTUS like to issue these kind of pro-First Amendment type rulings that make the ACLU-types happy, right before issuing a bunch of pro-corporate, anti-poor people rulings.

    So we get its “a-ok to be gay” followed by “money is speech”.

  50. 50
    orogeny says:

    Can an employer tell his/her employees that they cannot talk about politics with the customers? Is freedom of speech inferior to freedom of religion?

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @Amir Khalid: hey, he’s very liberal. Just thinks companies should be able to tell employees how to dress and including if you can wear your religious garb that wouldn’t interfere with you doing your job or looking presentable.

  52. 52
    Lee says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    They have a variety of sized uniforms from XXX-S to XXXXXX-S :)

    I’ve been to Hooters 3 times in my life (their food is horrible) & I saw a variety of sized women as staff.

  53. 53
    Laertes says:

    As for Hooters, I’d bet that they get away with what they do (hiring only attractive young women and enforcing a racy dress code) because they can reasonably argue that looking pretty hot is in fact a bona fide occupational qualification for their waitstaff.

  54. 54
    Chris says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    To me, it’s pretty simple: I do not want Corporate-Americans telling their employees that they have to take off religious clothing, for the same reason that I do not want Corporate-Americans telling their employees that they have to wear religious clothing. YMMV.

  55. 55
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Chris: normally I agree with you reasoning Chris, but I don’t know if that follows

  56. 56
    Sly says:

    @orogeny:

    Why should your religion trump my right to run my business as I see fit, within the law?

    Because a business cannot function without the protections of property and commerce that state power provides. The mechanisms of state power are under the control of a democratically elected government. That democratically elected government decided that one of the prices that business owners pay for operating within the public marketplace, as both purchasers of labor and sellers of goods and services, is that they shall not to discriminate against the members of the public on the basis of race, religion, disability, sex, age, or national origin unless complying with that mandate amounted to more than a minor burden on the functioning of the business.

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    I wonder if you might not end up with a situation too where you are opening a store in an area where you have a high concentration of religious people. Everyone at work starts wearing religious item A. I’m not religious and don’t want to wear it, but everyone is making me feel left out and my productivity suffers. So I complain and the company steps in and says “no more wearing item A.” Now who is the bad guy?

  58. 58
    orogeny says:

    @Sly:

    Do your rights as a christian/muslim/zoroastrian trump my rights as an atheist? Why should I have to tolerate your displays of religion at my place of business?

  59. 59
    Xantar says:

    @orogeny:

    For the same reason that religious people have to tolerate your displays of non-religiosity at your place of business, I would assume.

  60. 60
    angh says:

    I’m pretty sure the key to these situations is that the law requires _ reasonable _ accommodations, so the courts end up deciding what is reasonable. A headscarf in a retail setting I personally would consider reasonable. If your religion forbade bathing or changing clothes more than once a month and you wanted to work in a restaurant – not reasonable.

    From my reading in this case A&F was trying to make the argument that because the applicant hadn’t specifically asked for religious accommodation A&F technically wasn’t in violation of the law – since they didn’t ‘officially’ know it was a religious item. I’m not sure that “We’re not biased, we’re just stupid” really works as a valid defense.

    In their alternative argument they do claim that the policy is not discriminatory because their clothing policy applies to all employees, which fails because of the reasonable accommodation requirement.

  61. 61
    henqiguai says:

    @SatanicPanic (#57):

    I’m not religious and don’t want to wear it, but everyone is making me feel left out and my productivity suffers. So I complain and the company steps in and says “no more wearing item A.” Now who is the bad guy?

    Um, the insecure twit who can’t even resist *passive* peer pressure?

  62. 62
    orogeny says:

    @Xantar:

    At MY place of business? I cannot control what happens inside the business I own? If my employee feels that it is their religious duty to proselytize my customers, I just have to smile and let it go?

  63. 63
    Sly says:

    @orogeny:

    Do your rights as a christian/muslim/zoroastrian trump my rights as an atheist?

    The rights of employees to practice their religion, or lack thereof, supersedes the rights of employers to absolute hiring preferences. An employer can no more fire, or otherwise penalize, a Christian employee for wearing a cross than they can fire, or otherwise penalize, an atheist employee for wearing a DarwinFish lapel pin.

    Why should I have to tolerate your displays of religion at my place of business?

    Because the EEOC has the legal standing to sue you if you don’t.

  64. 64
    Xantar says:

    @orogeny:

    So now wearing a hijab is proselytizing?

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @orogeny:

    At MY place of business? I cannot control what happens inside the business I own?

    Ah, the rallying cry of oppressed One Percenters everywhere, enraged that the rights of their employees and the laws of the land should presume to have any claim on the way they run their fiefdom. How original.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @orogeny: Are you asking what constitutes a reasonable accommodation or just moving the goalposts?

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    If you don’t wear religious item A because it’s not your religion, why on earth would your coworkers of that religion want to pressure you to start wearing it?

  68. 68
    ThresherK says:

    @Betty Cracker: “Or the required cup-size of the servers themselves?”

    I believe Mike Huckabee has settled the issue when he said he would wear a wig and padded bra to get a job at Hooters, and access to the changing room.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ThresherK:
    Ahem. If I ran a Hooters, never in a million years would I hire a waitress who looked like Mike Huckabee in a wig and padded bra. Eww.

  70. 70
    PurpleGirl says:

    IBM was known for their employees wearing business suits. Well, that was not quite the whole story. My Peekskill friend worked for IBM as an OS researcher and he wore blue jeans and business shirts, no ties to the office… except on those days when he was going to be seeing a client or was attending a conference on behalf of IBM. Then he wore one of his three-piece pin-stripe suits, with tie. One of the Selectric repairmen I had also wore a three-piece pin-striped suite. Another of the repairmen wore slacks and a sports coats.

    At the non-profit I worked at, our IT person was a Muslim convert. She wore Moroccan-styled over coats and a hijab.. Personally, I preferred how she dressed to some of the data-entry clerks who wore teen sports wear and always seemed to me to be undressed. Also, I’ll point out here that the hijab is not required by Islam or anything in the Koran. It is a cultural/triba thing and varies by the exact group background of the person. (An Amish wouldn’t be working at an A&F because it is so far from their culture. An Amish woman taking a Rumspringa break might want a job at A&F but then she’d be living in a city and not living according the Amish culture anyway.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Indeed, hijab was not commonly worn by Muslim women in Malaysia until around 1980.

  72. 72
    Andrey says:

    @orogeny: “I cannot control what happens inside the business I own?”

    Correct. You do not have 100% control of what happens inside your business. You also do not have 0% control. The amount of control that you have is somewhere between 0 and 100 percent. Some things you get to veto, or to command. Other things you don’t. Is this a difficult concept?

  73. 73
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: When Bianca was hired and we saw how she would be dressing, Velma and I talked to her about it. She thought we didn’t like the coat and hijab but Velma and I were able to convince her that we were worried about how she’d handle the heat in the office. At the time we all worked in a one large room without A/C and a dozen or so computers, 4 printers and the outer rim offices had the A/C units in windows. IOW, it got hot. Over the years Bianca worked with us, she and I got to know and understand each other about how we dressed. I sometimes teased her about wearing blue jeans and sneakers under the overcoat. We learned from each other.

  74. 74
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Maybe I’m not an out atheist, for instance, so they don’t know. Or maybe I’m from a different religion and it makes me feel uncomfortable?

  75. 75
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    In this hypothetical case, if the coworkers don’t know you’re not of their religion, you need only tell them. If you’re just uncomfortable being in a religious minority at work, and they’re not actually giving you any grief for it, that’s not on them.

  76. 76
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Amir Khalid: But you don’t think that could make for difficult situations? What if I keep getting passed over for promotions while everyone else wearing Item A is getting them?

  77. 77
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SatanicPanic: Let me understand what you are saying: You work in an office and everyone around you wears crosses/crucifixes. Someone among them starts to try to make you wear one too. My response would be, ‘no, I won’t because I don’t ascribe to the beliefs represented by the cross.’ Why couldn’t you do the same?

  78. 78
    SatanicPanic says:

    @PurpleGirl: yeah, of course, but that’s me and I live in a big, mostly liberal city and work at a place that doesn’t have a ton of people wearing religious accessories. If I were back in the small town I grew up in or some other place with a lot of religious people around, maybe I’d think differently.

  79. 79
    SatanicPanic says:

    My point is that I could see situations where a company not prohibiting religious symbols might result in a lack of religious freedom for some people working at that company. I mean, I’m not strongly for or against, I’m just trying to think of it from other angles.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    If you’re facing discrimination at work as a religious minority, the cause of your problem isn’t your failure to wear item A.

  81. 81
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    And if you’re facing discrimination at work, then you would have recourse to the law under exactly the same circumstances as the woman from Abercrombie & Fitch. This ruling is good for you, not good for the busybodies trying to pressure you in ways that go against your views on religion.

    (That recourse would not, of course, entail a right to force everyone else to take off Religious Item A, any more than this case entailed the woman telling other people how to dress).

  82. 82
    Laertes says:

    @orogeny:

    I cannot control what happens inside the business I own?

    You’ll have some control, but your control won’t be absolute. We don’t have kings here anymore. All of us are, in theory, equal before the law.

    Sigh.

    Look, it may be your business, but it’s our country. We all make the laws here, and we all (in theory) are bound by them. Are you really surprised that you don’t have absolute power over people who work at your business? If you even want that kind of power over people, you’re a creep and shouldn’t be permitted any at all.

    If my employee feels that it is their religious duty to proselytize my customers, I just have to smile and let it go?

    Depends.

  83. 83
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Where I grew up there was no one walking around loudly proclaiming they were anything other than Christian, but I have to assume not everyone was. I could see where you’d want to keep that quiet and not wearing something might be just as big of an announcement as wearing it. You know what I mean? Everyone shows up on Ash Wednesday with ashes on their head but you don’t? Maybe it would be better just to say “no one shows up with ashes on their head.”

  84. 84
    VincentN says:

    @orogeny:

    Because the Civil Rights Act says so. Due to the long history of religious discrimination, racial discrimination, etc. in America businesses are prohibited from discriminating against certain factors.

    I know you’re actually arguing the principle underlying the statute that says that businesses have to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs but many people have already commented on that. So I’m just going to give you the simple legalistic answer that the law says you have to.

  85. 85
    Pogonip says:

    @Amir Khalid: Would you hire the new improved Bruce Jenner?

  86. 86
    Pogonip says:

    @PurpleGirl: My mom worked in what was then called a computer room. It got so hot people occasionally fainted.

  87. 87
    Laertes says:

    @Pogonip:

    Would you hire the new improved Bruce Jenner?

    That’s kind of an interesting question, but it’s maybe not exactly clear what you’re getting at? Like, which bits of that hypothetical are are waving aside and which bits are you focused on?

    You may be asking:
    – Would you ever find yourself hiring waitstaff for a Hooters?
    – Would you expect Caitlyn Jenner to be willing to work for Hooters-waitstaff wages?
    – Would you hire a 65-year-old as a Hooters waitress?
    – Would you hire a trans woman as a Hooters waitress?
    – Would you hire one of the most famous women on Earth for a customer-facing position?

    (Not that anyone asked me, but my answers would be: No, no, depends, yes, and yes, respectively.)

  88. 88

    @SatanicPanic:

    If you keep getting passed over for promotions because you’re not wearing item A, you get to sue your employer for illegal discrimination. Because employers can neither discriminate against NOR FAVOR people on the basis of religion.

  89. 89

    So, to turn the question back on orogeny and others, if we remove religious discrimination from the books, what’s to stop employers from refusing to hire African-Americans because they might be Muslims, or just aren’t the right brand of Christian? Saying that it’s okay to discriminate on the basis of religion is going to blow back on atheists as well as members of minority religions and strengthen conservative Christians.

    And given that there are many stories of Muslim and Jewish girls in France being punished for wearing religious symbols while their Christian classmates are allowed to wear crucifixes, I think you vastly overestimate how “secular” France actually is.

  90. 90
    Pogonip says:

    @Laertes: Actually I was just kidding Amir. :D

    I know one girl who financed a couple of semesters of college with a Hooters job. She’d have continued but it moved. The tips were great.

  91. 91
    LanceThruster says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Wasn’t the issue of ceremonial knives addressed somewhere?

  92. 92
    The Other Chuck says:

    @LanceThruster: The ceremonial knife is symbolic, and I’ve seen a Sikh with one that looked it could be worn on a charm bracelet. So not really a big deal.

Comments are closed.