European Employment Law Cases

Case Reports

2019/28 An employer may impose a ban on the wearing of any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs on employees in contact with customers (FR)

Keywords Religious discrimination
Authors Claire Toumieux en Thomas Robert
Author's information

353746 Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is partner and Thomas Robert is an attorney at Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, France.

353749 Thomas Robert
  • Abstract

      Both the French Supreme Court and the Versailles Court of Appeal held that an employer, who must ensure that liberties and fundamental rights of each employee are respected in the working community, may lawfully prohibit the wearing of any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace, provided that the rule contained in the company rules and regulations applies without distinction to employees in direct contact with the customers of the company only. But in the absence of such rules, sanctioning an employee who refuses to remove her Islamic veil based on the wish of a customer, which does not qualify as a genuine and determining occupational requirement, amounts to an unlawful direct discrimination and should consequently be held null and void.

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