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US Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch in Hijab Case


FILE - Samantha Elauf stands outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

FILE - Samantha Elauf stands outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an American woman who was denied a job because she wears a headscarf.

Samantha Elauf, a Muslim who covers her hair for religious reasons, began her legal battle in 2008, when an Abercrombie & Fitch store in (the central U.S. state of) Oklahoma, rejected the then 17 year old after an in-person interview.

The assistant manager who interviewed Elauf believed she was qualified to be hired, but a superior manager said the headscarf would violate the store's dress code.

Elauf did not ask for a religious accommodation to that policy, but the Supreme Court ruled businesses are obligated to figure out whether one is needed. U.S. law bars employment discrimination based on religious belief.

In its eight to one ruling, the court sided with Elauf and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that filed the lawsuit on her behalf. The decision sends the case back to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had overturned a lower court jury's decision to award Elauf $20,000 in damages.

According to her social media accounts, Elauf is now a manager at another retailer - Urban Outfitters.

WATCH: Related report by Katherine Gypson before today's ruling:

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