In the News: Headscarves

Last month, the legal and political debate in Europe over Muslim headscarves was reignited after Denmark began implementing a ban on wearing burqas in public, and former UK foreign minister Boris Johnson said that women who wear burqas look like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.”

In the US, the headscarf has been debated by courts in the context of providing “reasonable accommodations” for employers’ dress code policies. For example, in 2009, the Third Circuit ruled that the City of Philadelphia could ban headscarves as part of police officer uniforms. However, in 2015, the Supreme Court found that Abercrombie & Fitch had improperly rejected a job applicant because she wanted to wear a headscarf while working in one of its stores (which conflicted with the store’s “Look Policy”).