EU Court: Headscarf Ban in Workplace Legal in Some Cases
2017-03-14 20:12:03

The European Union’s highest court has ruled that employers can ban some religious symbols, including headscarves, in the workplace.(1)

The European Court of Justice, however, said such a ban must be part of a company’s policy for all employees to “dress neutrally.”(2)

If such a policy is followed, workers can be barred from wearing “visible signs of political, philosophical or religious beliefs.”(3)
如果遵循这一政策,则可以禁止工人穿"的政治、 哲学或宗教信仰的迹象"。

The court said it does not consider such bans “direct discrimination” by companies when carried out in this way.(4)

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on two cases involving women who were fired from jobs for refusing to remove headscarves.(5)

The headscarf is an important religious symbol for Muslim women.(6)

One woman lost her job in France because a customer complained to the company about her Islamic headscarf.(7)

In that case, the court ruled that a customer’s complaint alone does not meet the requirement for a company to ban religious symbols.(8)

In the other case, the court found that a company in Belgium may have correctly exercised its right to dismiss an employee.(9)

The court found the company had fairly applied a dress code policy for all employees in an effort to project an image of political and religious neutrality.(10)

Both cases were referred from their home countries to the Court of Justice of the European Union for legal guidance.(11)

Courts in those countries must still rule on those cases.(12)

Rights group Amnesty International called the rulings “disappointing.”(13)

In a statement, it said the decisions “give greater leeway to employers to discriminate against women - and men - on the grounds of religious belief.”(14)

Wearing religious symbols, especially the Muslim headscarf, has become a big political issue in some European nations.(15)

French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said she wants to ban all “ostentatious” religious symbols in France.(16)

France already bans headscarves and other religious symbols in classrooms. It also bans face-covering veils in public.(17)

Some other European countries have put restrictions on full-face veils in public, while many others have proposed bans.(18)

I’m Bryan Lynn.(19)
我是布赖恩 · 林恩。

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