Top French court: sacking headscarved woman religious discrimination

A French Muslim woman who was sacked for wearing the headscarf at work was unfairly dismissed on the basis of her religion, France's top court ruled.

Top French court: sacking headscarved woman religious discrimination

World Bulletin / News Desk

A French Muslim woman who was sacked for wearing the headscarf at work was unfairly dismissed on the basis of her religion, France's top court ruled on Tuesday.

In a landmark decision, the Court of Cassation overturned an earlier ruling by an appeal court in Versailles which had upheld the right of her employer, a private creche in the Paris suburbs, to dismiss the woman after she refused to remove her headscarf.

Any overt religious symbols - headscarves, Jewish skullcaps or Sikh turbans for example - are banned from French state schools, which operate on strictly secular lines.

But the Court of Cassation ruled that this principle could not be applied to the woman's case because she was employed by a private creche, or day nursery, meaning her civil right to express her religious faith prevailed.

The woman, who had just returned to work after a five-year break to bring up her children, was sacked in December 2008 after refusing to remove her scarf when told to by the management of the "Baby Wolf" creche in Chanteloup-les-Vignes to the west of Paris.

Last Mod: 20 Mart 2013, 11:09
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