Reuters: EU Headscarf Ban Ruling Sparks Faith Group Backlash

Companies have great control over the appearance of their employees, and the EU’s Court of Justice has ruled that employers can ban religious and political symbols if “in pursuit of legitimate business interests” and if “a broad dress code for all customer-facing staff” is applied “to project an image of political and religious neutrality,” reports Alastair Macdonald for Reuters. The court considered the dismissals of a French software engineer, after one customer’s complaint, and a receptionist at a Belgian firm for wearing a headscarf. The ruling did not preclude discrimination as a factor, which national courts will decide. “The judgment on that and a French case came on the eve of a Dutch election in which Muslim immigration is a key issue and weeks before France votes for a president in a similarly charged campaign,” Macdonald reports. “[A] campaign group backing the women said the ruling could shut many Muslim women out of the workforce.” Amnesty International took a stance on the ruling, welcoming that "employers are not at liberty to pander to the prejudices of their clients," but concerned that bans could open "a backdoor to precisely such prejudice.” – YaleGlobal

Reuters: EU Headscarf Ban Ruling Sparks Faith Group Backlash

Religion & politics overlap: EU court decides employers can ban religious/political symbols at workplace
Alastair Macdonald
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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Additional reporting was provided by Waverly Colville in Brussels and Sudip Kar-Gupta in Paris.

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