Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
731 F.3d 1106 (2013)
Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (Abercrombie) (defendant) was a clothing company that marketed itself as a preppy and casual brand. Abercrombie required its employees, who were called Models, to promote the Abercrombie style of clothing by adhering to Abercrombie’s Look Policy. The Look Policy required Models to wear clothing similar to clothing sold in Abercrombie stores and forbade black clothing and caps. Samantha Elauf, a Muslim, applied for a Model position with Abercrombie. Prior to applying, Elauf had inquired whether Models would be permitted to wear a hijab while working. An assistant manager with Abercrombie suggested that Elauf would be permitted to wear a hijab as long as the hijab was not black. Elauf interviewed with an assistant manager, Heather Cooke, while wearing a black headscarf. Cooke described some of the requirements of the Look Policy but did not discuss Elauf’s headscarf during the interview, although Cooke did assume that Elauf wore the headscarf in accordance with the Muslim religion. Elauf did not at any time inform Cooke that she wore her headscarf for religious reasons or that she would need an accommodation. Ultimately, Abercrombie did not hire Elauf, as her headscarf was inconsistent with the Look Policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (plaintiff) brought an action against Abercrombie pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. The EEOC argued that Abercrombie had refused to accommodate Elauf’s religious beliefs by making an exception to the Look Policy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the EEOC. Abercrombie appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Ebel, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.