A judge ruled Monday that Abercrombie and Fitch illegally fired an employee after she insisted on wearing a headscarf for religious reasons.
The Abercrombie company has been in hot water for the past few months following a number of complaint against the companies reputed "image." The company has a dress code policy, which requires all employees to dress in a manner that reflects the brand's image.
In 2010 Hani Khan was fired from a Hollister store in San Mateo, Calif. after she refused not to wear a headscarf at work. A judge ruled Monday that the store, owned by the Abercrombie brand, violated anti-discrimination laws.
During the trial the company purported that Khan had cost the store sales by failing to represent the Hollister brand. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that "no substantial evidence" had been provided to prove that sales were affected.
Previous incidents have established that Abercrombie is strict when it comes to rules regarding the company image, which many believe is overtly discriminatory. In July, an inside source revealed that Abercrombie CEO Michael Jeffries "hates" the color black and has banned it both in store and at headquarters. The company later released a statement to attest to the information.
"Abercrombie & Fitch does not sell black clothing and discourages wearing it at our home office and in our stores, because we are a casual lifestyle brand and feel black clothing is formal," the company said in a statement. "We have nothing against black clothing and feel it is perfectly appropriate for things like tuxedos."
Jeffries is also allegedly the reason why the brand does not sell extra large clothes or pants larger than a size 10, stating his preference for the "all-American kid."
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," he told the Salon website in 2006. "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
At the end of May the company released a statement apologizing for any offensive comments that Jeffries had made in the past.
"We sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by the comments we have made in the past which are contrary to (the values of diversity and inclusion)," the statement read in part.
Following the September ruling that the company had acted against anti-discriminatory laws, a company spokesman reiterated:
"Abercrombie & Fitch does not discriminate based on religion and we grant religious accommodations when reasonable," spokesman Bruce MacKenzie said.