by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Hani Khan, a 20-year-old Muslim young lady, says that she was initially told by managers that she could wear her hijab head covering when she was hired in October 2009 by a Hollister Co. owned by Abercrombie. So long as her hijabs matched the store colors — navy blue, gray, or white — she would be fine. However, Khan’s granted permission was repealed in February of 2010.
NYDailyNews.com reports Khan saying that when “a district manager visited the store, a human resources manager told her not to wear the scarf, [and] when she refused to remove it, she was suspended and then canned.” Khan said at a news conference on Monday, “Growing up in this country where the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, I felt let down.”
Abercrombie rejects Khan’s claim. They say that they do not endorse or allow discrimination and that the diversity in their stores “far exceeds the diversity in the population of the United States.” Rocky Robbins, the store’s lawyer, told the Associated Press, “We are confident that when this matter is tried, a jury will find that we have fully complied with the law.”
There appears to be a fault in Abercrombie’s counterclaim, however. According to reports from NYDailyNews.com, “Khan filed the federal lawsuit after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found in September that she was fired illegally.” Unless, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made an false call on Khan’s behalf, Abercrombie has already — in a sense — been proven guilty.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.