In a ruling handed down on 15 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dismissed the applicants in two joined cases that saw the employees be sanctioned by their employers for wearing an Islamic headscarf. A company can prohibit the visible expression of political or religious beliefs if justified by a ‘genuine need’ that is linked to the expectations of customers or users and by the ‘adverse consequences’ the company would otherwise suffer in the absence of such a policy. These criteria can thus occasion different treatment for different employees, as long as the difference is applied according to strict neutrality between religions and beliefs.
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