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Top European Union Court Bans Headscarves at Work: What you need to know

Two women wearing burkas
Picture courtesy: Alarabiya Net
  • Companies in the European Union may ban Muslim employees from wearing a headscarf under certain conditions, a top European court has ruled. The decision was made in a ruling on two cases brought by women in Germany who were suspended from their jobs for wearing a headscarf.

  • The issue of the headscarf has caused controversy across the world and Europe specifically.

  • In the court cases, both Muslim women - a special-needs carer at a childcare centre in Hamburg run by a charitable association, and a cashier at a pharmacy chain - did not wear headscarves when they started in their jobs. However, they decided to do so years later after coming back from parental leave. They were told that this was not allowed, and both were at different points either suspended, told to come to work without it or put on a different job, court documents showed.

  • “A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes,” the court said.

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