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    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.


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

Thomas Robert

    A mobility clause must be sufficiently precise, but this condition can still be fulfilled even if the clause tries to cover both current and possible future locations of the company, provided any future locations are still within France and provided any change of location is justified by the needs of the business.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

    The Polish national social insurance authority has no power to police ‘social dumping’. Neither is there any legal basis or justification for excluding workers performing work in other EU Member States from the national social insurance system based on an unverifiable assumption that social dumping is taking place.


Marcin Wujczyk PhD.
Marcin Wujczyk, PhD., is a partner with Baran Ksiazek Bigaj Wujczyk in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.
Case Reports

2017/31 Lawful positive discrimination in favour of women (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Positive discrimination
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    Company agreement provisions granting a half-day of leave to female employees on International Women’s Day constitute lawful positive discrimination in favour of women.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

    A pregnant employee with no valid work permit in France does not benefit from protective legal provisions forbidding or restraining her termination.


Claire Toumieux

Susan Ekrami
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami are a partner and associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.
Case Reports

2017/9 The influence of the threat of terrorism on the right to strike (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2017
Keywords Industrial action, Strike
Authors Ruben Houweling and Amber Zwanenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Dutch Cantonal judge prohibited a strike because the safety of passengers could not be guaranteed. At the hearing, which took place a few days after the Berlin Christmas market attacks, weight was given to the threat of terrorism. Nor is this the first time the threat of terrorism has been explicitly referred to by a Dutch court in a case concerning the right to strike.


Ruben Houweling
Ruben Houweling and Amber Zwanenburg are respectively a professor and a lecturer of Labour Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg

    The Austrian Supreme Court has ruled that the general prohibition of Muslim face veils by an employer does not constitute unlawful discrimination. In this landmark decision, Austria’s Supreme Court expresses the view that an uncovered face is a prerequisite to proper communication. Thus, termination of employment by reason of an employee’s refusal to come to work unless she can wear a face veil is not unlawful under the Austrian Equal Treatment Act. Whether this rule also applies to other religious clothing such as headscarves remains to be seen.


Hans Georg Laimer
Hans Georg Laimer is a partner at zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH.

Lukas Wieser
Lukas Wieser is an attorney at law at zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH.
Case Reports

2016/45 Supreme Court rules on social security legislation applicable to temps posted abroad (PL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Free movement, social security and temporary agency workers
Authors Marcin Wujczyk PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    Temporary agency workers employed by a Polish agency and posted temporarily to France to work there under the direction of a French client are entitled to A1 certificates and, therefore, to remain governed by exclusively Polish social security legislation while working in France.


Marcin Wujczyk PhD
Marcin Wujczyk, PhD., is a partner with Ksiazek Bigaj Wujczyk in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.

    The French state was held liable by the Administrative Court of Clermont-Ferrand for failing to transpose Article 7§1 of EU Directive 2003/88/EC on working time.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami are a partner and associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami

    A staffing agency rejected an application for an advertised job because the applicant refused to remove her hijab. The court of first instance saw no discrimination, the Court of Appeal did. The plaintiff was awarded €500 but had to bear her own legal expenses.


Caterina Rucci
Caterina Rucci is a partner at Bird & Bird in Milan, www.twobirds.com.

    An employer that fails to comply with an occupational doctor’s recommendation regarding an employee’s health, as it relates to his job, is in breach of its health and safety obligations.


Delphine Levy Karcenty
Delphine Levy Karcenty is an avocat with Jeantet in Paris, www.jeantet.fr.

    An ‘independent contractor’ working for a company in a subordinate relationship should be considered as a de facto employee. In such a situation, the company and its legal representatives can be held liable for ‘concealed work’ and be subject to criminal penalties.


Charles Mathieu
Charles Mathieu is a lawyer with Jeantet in Paris, www.jeantet.fr.

    Austrian law permits the dismissal of an employee during parental leave only in cases where the employer cannot reasonably be expected to continue the contractual relationship. The colour of a hair ribbon does not justify the termination of a young father’s employment as a bus driver.


Christina Hießl
Christina Hießl is invited professor at Yonsei University, Graduate School of Social Welfare, Seoul http://yonsei.ac.kr.
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