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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
German Courts Penalizing Schools for Following Law Against Hijabs
Muslim teacher awarded €7k compensation for hijab job rejection
© Frank May / Global Look Press
The state of Berlin has been ordered to pay a Muslim teacher €6,900 after she was rejected from a job because her hijab contravened a German law restricting religious symbols in the workplace.
A Berlin labor court awarded the woman two months’ salary in compensation, Zeit Online reports.
German courts have held other similar proceedings this year challenging the workplace neutrality law.
In a separate case, a second woman also rejected over her headscarf is in the process of arguing her case in the Berlin Labor Court.
The two women applied to work at schools in Berlin and were told they wouldn’t be allowed to wear their headscarves at work.
Berlin’s Neutrality Act says state employees, like teachers, nurses and police aren’t allowed to wear religious symbols when at work.
However, in 2015, Germany’s Constitutional Court found blanket bans on state teachers wearing headscarves were unconstitutional.
In its ruling, the court told teachers concerned about freedom of religious expression that "strict and nationwide prohibition of a religious outward statement" is “unreasonable,” except in cases where the headscarf “constitute[s] a sufficiently specific danger of impairing the peace at school or the state’s duty of neutrality,” Spiegel reported.
In February, a teacher was also awarded €8,680 in an appeal after she was rejected for a job due to her headscarf.
The labor court found the basis for her 2014 job application rejection fell under religious discrimination. Her rejection letter stated she would not be given a job at a general education school because of the Neutrality law.