The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has once again ruled that employers may ban the visible wearing of religious or political symbols. Such a ban can be justified if an employer wishes to radiate neutrality to their customers or avoid social conflicts, the court ruled.
Such a ban must outweigh the workers “sincere need” to wear such a symbol. The employer must also take into account national legislation on freedom of religion.
The case before the Court was the continuation of two German lawsuits on Muslims who were not allowed to wear a headscarf from their employers. One worked at an ecumenical nursery, the other at a drugstore chain. German judges now need to look at their cases again.
The ruling is consistent with a ruling of the Court of Justice in 2017 in a case of a Belgian and French woman. They were also about wearing headscarf at work.
At that time,
it was also considered that an employer may prohibit the wearing of political or religious symbols for certain reasons, as long as there is no discrimination.