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Scarf Ruling Means More Job-Bias Training for U.S. Bosses
by Thomas Black and Carol Hymowitz
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. can be sued for denying employment to a woman wearing a head scarf will compel companies large and small to brush up on the nuances of bias and do more to accommodate employees' religious beliefs.
In Monday's 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court said companies can face discrimination claims even if managers didn't know for sure that a job applicant had religious reasons for wearing a certain garb or needing time off. Federal law requires employers to accommodate religious needs when feasible.
The ruling underscores the need for businesses to be more attuned to workers' religious beliefs. With some diversity experts saying millennials are far more likely to confidently wear a hijab or a sari or other non-Western clothing to work than their parents ever did, that means extra training to make sure policies and bosses are in step with the times.
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