EU court allows headscarf constraints at workplace

Private firms are justified on certain grounds to bar a female employee from wearing a headscarf or veil, according to the European Court of Justice. The top court was ruling on a cases in France and Belgium.

The court issued a complicated judgement Tuesday on two cases, involving a veil-wearing software engineer in France and a headscarf-wearing receptionist in Belgium, centered on the EU-wide law known as the anti-discrimination or equal treatment Directive 2000/78.

“An internal rule of an undertaking [firm] which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the court said.

(Photo: Hans Braxmeier)

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