The top EU court just ruled that employers have right to ban religious headscarves at work

Muslim veil headscarfFranck Prevel/Getty ImagesThe EU court has issued an opinion in support of the workplace headscarf ban.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, including headscarves.

The ECJ ruled on the cases of two female employees in Belgium and in France, who had brought the case to trial after being dismissed for refusing to remove their headscarves.

“An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the ECJ said in a statement.

However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer’s services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination.”

This story is developing.

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