German court awards compensation to Muslim woman not hired because of head scarf
A German court has awarded compensation to a woman who was not hired by a primary school in Berlin because, as a Muslim, she wears a head scarf. Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported on 10 February that the establisher of the school must pay the rejected applicant the equivalent of two months' pay, or EUR 8 680.
A first-instance court rejected the woman's complaint last year and the appeals court has now agreed with her. Judge Renate Schaude said wearing the Muslim head scarf would not lead to any specific disruption of order at the school, that rejecting the Muslim applicant on that basis was groundless, and that the school had committed discrimination by doing so.
Berlin City Hall, which is the establisher of the primary school at issue, could appeal this most recent verdict. The German metropolis is also a state and has its own law about neutrality according to which judicial employees, police and teachers should not wear ostentatious religious symbols at work.
Judge Schaude referred in her verdict to a decision by the German Constitutional Court according to which it is not allowed to ban female Muslim teachers across the board from wearing head scarves during instruction. The Constitutional Court ruled that such a blanket ban would infringe upon freedom of religion.
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