The Tenth Circuit’s recent decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, No. 11-5110 (10th Cir. Oct. 1, 2013) – concerning an applicant who was not hired because she wore a hijab – brings into sharp focus the Commission’s views on employer obligations to accommodate workers and applicants based on religious beliefs. In July 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma granted summary judgment to the EEOC, finding that Abercrombie engaged in religious discrimination. In a comprehensive 95-page decision issued on October 1, 2013, the Tenth Circuit not only overturned the grant of summary judgment to the EEOC, but also, in a complete 180 degree turn, held that Abercrombie is actually entitled to summary judgment.
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