An egregious case of sexual harassment has unfolded in San Diego, with the city's former mayor pleading guilty to three criminal charges, one of which is a felony. The case serves to remind us that people in positions of power are not immune to inappropriate behavior in the workplace, nor are they immune to justice.
In its recent ruling in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., the majority of a 3-judge panel in the Tenth Circuit wrongly dismissed the EEOC's claim of religious discrimination at the summary judgment phase. In that case, Abercrombie & Fitch declined to hire Samantha Elauf, a Muslim, because her headscarf conflicted with its undisclosed Look Policy. When sued by the EEOC, Abercrombie cried wolf declaring that it did not know that Elauf was a Muslim and wore a hijab, despite not hiring her exactly for that reason. Abercrombie claimed that because Elauf did not explicitly request a religious accommodation, Abercrombie lacked the requisite notice and could not be found liable for religious discrimination. Surprisingly, the majority agreed with Abercrombie and overturned the district court's decision to the contrary.
The state of California is home to some of the largest and most profitable agricultural land in the U.S. Each year, thousands of agriculture workers help tend and harvest the crops that are then sold throughout the country. Many of these workers make minimum wage and do not speak English.