European Court: Employers CAN Ban Islamic Headscarf

headscarf ban
An Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said that it is possible for companies to institute a headscarf ban if it is done under a policy ensuring “religious and ideological neutrality”. The opinion on the headscarf ban – which is currently only “advisory” – was delivered yesterday by Germany’s Advocate General at the ECJ, Professor Juliane Kokott. The final judgment on the case will come later this year, but the ECJ commonly follows Advocates General’s opinions which are considered to be independent and impartial and are regularly sought before the actual judges deliberate on high-profile cases. The specifics involve Samira Achbita, a practicing Muslim from Belgium who worked as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions. Ms. Achbita worked for three years for the company before insisting she should be allowed to go to work wearing an Islamic headscarf. As a result she was dismissed because of the company’s policy banning the wearing of visible religious, political and philosophical symbols. Backed by Centre for Equal Opportunities and Combatting Racism — a Belgian government agency — Ms. Achbita sued for damages but lost her case in the first two tiers of Belgian courts. With her appeal against those losses now before Belgium’s main court of last resort — the Court of Cassation — the ECJ has been asked to clarify the issue in