Muslim women (illustration)
Muslim women (illustration)Flash 90

The US Supreme Court will hear the case of a Muslim woman who was denied employment due to her headscarf, Reuters reported Thursday, taking the issue of religious dress to the national scale. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a complaint against popular teen's clothing outlet Abercrombie & Fitch - which is [in]famous for its policy of only employing sales associates which reflect its trendy image - after the Tulsa, Oklahoma branch of the outlet rejected then-17-year-old Samantha Elouf in 2008 for employment due to her religious dress.

A federal judge initially found Abercrombie & Fitch liable for discrimination, but the decision was later appealed. 

"Before her interview, Ms. Elauf knew the position required her to model the Abercrombie style, knew the style of clothing that Abercrombie sold, and also knew that Abercrombie did not sell headscarves," Abercrombie said in its court brief.

However, religious rights groups and US President Barack Obama have rallied to appeal the decision, despite a ruling from the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado that the 1964 Civil Rights Act only applies if employees provide "explicit notice of the need for a religious accommodation."

In filing the complaint, the EEOC noted that religious garb cases have doubled over the past fifteen years.

The legal ruling could have ramifications for other religious groups who wear headscarves - including not only Muslim women, but married Orthodox Jewish women and some Christian women as well. 

A federal-level investigation into the legality of religious garb is being brought to the table amid similar discussions in France, where religious symbols are banned in public institutions.

Last year, a Paris appeals court upheld the right of a kindergarten to fire a Muslim woman for wearing her headscarf in light of its policy of providing a secular education.