EU court allows employers to ban workers from wearing religious symbols

Mar 15, 2017 17:23 IST

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, the highest court in the European Union recently passed a ruling, allowing companies to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols including Islamic headscarves at work.

The court, however, added that if a company does not have a policy barring their staff from sporting the religious symbols then customers cannot demand workers to remove their headscarves. This ruling was issued as a joint judgment in the cases of two women from France and Belgium, who were dismissed from their workplace for refusing to remove their headscarves.

CA eBook

Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act introduced in US House of Representatives

Key Highlights

• The court ruled that an internal rule of an undertaking that prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute to direct discrimination.

• It further stated that a company's wish to project a neutral image was legitimate.

• The first case, which is of Samira Achbita, was referred to the ECJ by the Belgian courts.  Achbita was fired in June 2006 for refusing to take off her scarf and her company had stated that she had broken their unwritten rule that prohibited religious symbols.

• The second case was of a design engineer- Asma Bougnaoui who was fired from an IT consultancy firm after a customer complained that his staff had been embarrassed by her headscarf while she was on their premises to give counselling.

The ruling has come as a blow to many religious groups. It also contradicts the ruling from the European court of human rights (ECHR), which allowed crosses to be worn at workplaces.

Is this article important for exams ? Yes7 People Agreed

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Latest Videos

Register to get FREE updates

    All Fields Mandatory
  • (Ex:9123456789)
  • Please Select Your Interest
  • Please specify

  • ajax-loader
  • A verifcation code has been sent to
    your mobile number

    Please enter the verification code below

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK