EU workplace headscarf ban is legal, says ECJ

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Employers are entitled to ban workers from the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign” – including headscarves, Europe’s top court has ruled.

But the ban must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”, said the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

It cannot be based on the wishes of a customer, it said.

It is the court’s first decision on the issue of Islamic headscarves at work.

The ECJ’s ruling was prompted by the case of a receptionist fired for wearing a headscarf to work at the company G4S in Belgium.

Belgium’s court of cassation had referred the case to the EU’s top court for clarification.

EU workplace headscarf ban is legal, says ECJ