Top European Union Court Rules Companies May Ban Headscarves when ‘Neutral Image’ Necessary

A European Union top court ruled last week that companies may ban wearing a hijab under “certain conditions,” when a neutral image is necessary.

According to Reuters, via, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice made the decision in response to a case brought by two Muslim women who were suspended from their jobs in Germany for wearing a hijab.

One of the women was a special-needs caretaker at a childcare center in Hamburg, while the other was a cashier at a drugstore. Both did not wear hijabs when they started working, but decided to do so years later after returning from parental leave.

The court determined bans were justified by the need to present a neutral image.

“A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes,” the court ruled.