Swiss court faults em­ployer for fir­ing woman over head­scarf

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A SWISS court has ruled against a com­pany that fired a long­time em­ployee af­ter she be­gan wear­ing the Mus­lim head­scarf, mark­ing one of the first such rul­ings in Switzer­land, the me­dia re­ported.

A re­gional court in Bern ruled last month that a 29-year-old Ser­bian woman was fired with­out just cause from a dry clean­ing busi­ness, and or­dered the com­pany to dish out back-pay and dam­ages to her, Le Matin Di­manche weekly re­ported.

The woman, iden­ti­fied only as Abida, was fired in Jan­uary 2015 from a job she had held for six years, af­ter she be­gan wear­ing the Mus­lim head­scarf, it re­ported.

Her em­ployer in Bern had told her the head­scarf vi­o­lated hy­giene rules, and told her to re­move it or be let go.

She of­fered to wash her head­scarf daily or wear dis­pos­able head­scarves, but her em­ployer re­fused.

The Bern court ruled that the com­pany had vi­o­lated her con­sti­tu­tional right to free­dom of ex­pres­sion, ac­cord­ing to the pa­per.

It said wear­ing a head­scarf can only be grounds for ter­mi­na­tion in cases where it makes it im­pos­si­ble to carry out du­ties de­scribed in the em­ploy­ment con­tract or if it af­fects the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The case is one of the first of its kind in Switzer­land, Le Matin Di­manche said, point­ing to only one other known case dat­ing back to 1990, when a ma­chine man­u­fac­turer in the east of the coun­try was also faulted for fir­ing a woman for wear­ing a head­scarf. –

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