Top EU Court Rules Workers Can Be Banned from Wearing Religious Symbols

The ruling is the ECJ’s first affecting the wearing of headscarves at work.

Workers can be banned from the ‘visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign’ including Islamic headscarves, Europe’s top court has ruled.

In the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) first ruling on headscarves, the judges found the dictat must be based on a general company rule to ‘dress neutrally’ not on religious stereotypes or prejudices.

The decision was prompted by the case of a receptionist fired by the security company G4S in Belgium for wearing a hijab.

The high profile ruling affects all religious symbols at work, not just Islamic headscarves. It means a company’s desire to maintain a neutral image on overrides an individual’s desire to wear a religious symbol.

She claimed she was being discriminated against but the top court ruled the company was simply enforcing its policy preventing employees ‘from wearing any visible signs of their political, philosophical or religious beliefs and/or from engaging in any observance of such beliefs’.

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SOURCE: Christian Today
Harry Farley

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