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European Court recognizes ban on hijab at work legal

European employers have the right to prohibit employees from wearing Muslim headscarves in the workplace, the European Court in Luxembourg — the highest court of the European Union, made a ruling. This is its first decision on religious symbols in the workplace, BBC reported.

«The introduction of internal regulations prohibiting wearing of visible attributes expressing political, religious or philosophical views is not direct discrimination," the court said.

Decisions of the European Court are not subject to any appeal.

If the company doesn’t have a ban on wearing religious attributes, indulgence to clients who don’t want to be served by workers wearing hijab will be a discrimination by the employer, the court ruled.

The reason for the trial was the claim of a Belgian Samira Ashbita, who worked as a secretary in a local company, until she was fired for appearing at work in a Muslim headscarf. Ashbita felt that her rights were infringed, and filed a lawsuit.