Samantha Elauf’s Case as a new breath for women in US workplaces

Being a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a headscarf in a secular country like the US is not easy. Especially when it comes to finding a job, there are still many companies that see them with one eye and silently eliminate the candidate just because of her headscarf. This kind of bitter experience is surely felt by many Muslim women with headscarves in the United States. Samantha Elauf is one of the example. In 2008, when she was 17 years old, she tried to apply for a sales staff position at an Abercrombie & Fitch store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sadly, she was rejected because of the headscarf she was wearing during her interview. Her look violated Abercrombie’s clothing policy. Her disappointment did not stop her from standing up for her rights. It was proven by her suing the company for the discrimination she felt.

After years of tiresome trials, she and other headscarved women are able to smile now because the US Supreme Court ruled in her favour. A headscarf should not be a reason for preventing women to get a job because this head cover does not give any hardship to women in performing their daily works and activities. Banning women to get a job just because of a headscarf and other religious symbols violate human rights act in this country. All women, regardless their looks and appearances, must have the same rights on getting jobs they could perform well.

The Supreme Court ruled that discriminations based on religious practices and faith are in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Therefore, in the 8-1 verdict ruled in favour of Ms. Elauf. This case has given a new breath to women who wear headscarves to get the same rights at workplaces. People and companies should not judge them by their looks only. They must take a deeper look and give them better chances to prove that they could also work properly, just like any other woman. It is hoped that other companies reverse their policies in relation to headscarves so that there will be more Muslim women with headscarves working at various fields in this country.

Written by Niva Lluepyin

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Niva Lluepyin is a rain and snow lover. Books, coffee, flowers, and chocolate are her other passions. Her 'calling' in life is helping other people more so that she hopes she could leave beautiful traces on this earth.