The EU Court has ruled that a business may prohibit the wearing of religious symbols

Islamic veil: A Business may Prohibit the Wearing of Religious Symbols, says EU Court

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EUROPEAN UNION: The issue of headscarves remains complex in the EU …

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday. A business may prohibit in its rules the visible religious symbols, political and philosophical to maintain its neutrality, under certain conditions, says the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in a decision rendered.

The Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, delivered its opinion in two cases in Belgium and France, Muslim women believe they have been discriminated against at work because of their headscarves. “The ban on wearing a headscarf, which stems from an internal rule of a private company prohibiting the visible wearing of any political sign, philosophical or religious on the workplace, do not constitute direct discrimination based on religion or belief, “conclude the judges in the Belgian case.

A situation of “indirect” discrimination

In the Belgian case, a young Muslim woman, Samira Achbita, not wearing a headscarf at her job as a receptionist in 2003 by the group G4S, which provides surveillance and security services. However, three years later, Samira Achbita informed his employer of her decision to wear the headscarf, despite the policy of neutrality displayed first orally and then in writing by the company that prohibits the wearing of political signs, philosophical or religious.

However, the Court adds a number of conditions to completely clear customs the company charges, referring to a situation of “indirect” discrimination. The duty of neutrality should not result in disadvantage to adherents of a religion or belief and must be justified by a “legitimate objective”, through means ‘appropriate and necessary’. He will return to the Belgian Court of Cassation, in charge of this case, to rule on these points, the court said.

An additional notice for France

The second case, in France, concerning the dismissal of a Muslim woman, employed as an engineer study by French company Micropole, who wore a headscarf when he was hired in 2008. But during a visit with a customer, the customer complained and demanded that there be “no headscarf next time.” Micropole had forwarded this request to the employee who refused. The Court issued an additional notice, stating that a customer of a company can impose not to receive services provided by a worker who wears the Islamic headscarf.

Islamic veil: A Business may Prohibit the Wearing of Religious Symbols, says EU Court 1

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