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• The Associated Press reports that a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch was wrong when it fired a Muslim employee for wearing a head scarf. The retailer had said that the scarf violated its dress code and would negatively impact sales, but the judge said the firing violated anti-discrimination laws and that there was no "credible evidence" that the scarf would hurt sales.

A hearing to determine the company's liability will begin later this month.

The story notes that "Abercrombie has been the target of numerous discrimination lawsuits, including a federal class action brought by black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants that was settled for $40 million in 2004. The company admitted no wrongdoing, though it was forced to implement new programs and policies to increase diversity."

Interesting story, and one that suggests so many questions. I'm curious, for example, if the employee only started wearing the scarf after being hired, or whether the scarf was work during the job interview and, if so, why the employee was hired to begin with. Not that I'm agreeing with A&F on this one ... I think that an argument can be made that not only would the scarf-clad employee not hurt sales, but might even signal something important about inclusivity at the retailer. But the big message here is how the demographic world is changing, and how businesses have to think hard, act wisely, and be careful.
KC's View: