Hijab ban at work is not discriminatory according to European justice

Berlin | The Court of Justice of the European Union said, Thursday, that the ban on the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in the workplace is not discriminatory and, on the contrary, can help prevent social conflicts.

In a press release, the court estimated that “the ban on wearing any visible expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs can be justified by the need for the employer to display an image of impartiality towards clients or to avoid social conflicts.”

The Luxembourg court was arrested by two Muslim women living in Germany, one working in a pharmacy and the other as a nursery nurse. They have challenged in European courts the ban on the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in their workplaces.

In its ruling, CJEU ruled that a ban on wearing a visible religious symbol is not discrimination, applies to all religions, and can help avoid conflicts within the company.

However, the business owner must prove, according to the court, that it is a “genuine need” and that without this prohibition, the company’s impartiality would be called into question.

“It is particularly important that the business owner has demonstrated that, in the absence of this policy of neutrality, his freedom to conduct business would be impaired because he would suffer negative consequences due to the nature of his activities or the environment in which they are carried out outside,” the court writes.

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