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San Mateo Muslim Woman Sues Abercrombie & Fitch Over Hijab Firing

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The interior of an Abercrombie & Fitch store. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is suing the clothing retailer in federal court, saying the parent company of Hollister Co. fired her after she refused to remove her Muslim headscarf.

Hani Khan said Monday that a Hollister store manager at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, hired her while she was wearing her hijab and told her it was OK to wear it as long as it was in company colors.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Four months later, the 20-year-old says a district manager and human resources manager asked if she could remove the hijab while working, and she was suspended and then fired for refusing to do so.

The New Albany, Ohio, company said in a statement: “We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of religion, race or ethnicity, as evidenced by the fact that diversity in our stores far exceeds the diversity in the population of the United States.  We comply with the law regarding reasonable religious accommodation, and we will continue to do so.  We are confident that when this matter is tried, a jury will find that we have fully complied with the law.”

The lawsuit comes after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled Khan was fired illegally.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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