Target: Koen Lenaerts, President of the European Court of Justice
Goal: Reverse ruling that allows workplace bans on headscarves as part of a “neutral” dress code.
After a receptionist was fired for wearing a headscarf at work in Belgium, Europe’s top court ruled that workplace bans on headscarves need not qualify as discrimination, as long as they are part of a company-wide ban on “any political, philosophical, or religious sign,” and not the wishes of a customer. Human rights groups argue that this decision opens a backdoor to prejudice, allowing companies to pander to biased client opinions under the guise of neutrality.
The court’s ruling would require companies that practice such policies of “neutral dress” to enforce those rules across the board, meaning that other religious insignia like crucifixes or skullcaps would also be banned. However, instances of indirect discrimination against one particular religious group or belief system could still be considered legal if they are “objectively justified by a legitimate aim” and accomplished in an “appropriate and necessary” way. This cowardly move is a violation of human rights. Sign below to demand the ruling be overturned.
Dear President Lenaerts,
The ECJ’s ruling that workplace bans on headscarfs do not necessarily constitute discrimination, and are therefore permissible, is a decision that splits hairs and ultimately results in the justification of prejudice and the violation of many employees’ rights and freedoms.
Although the ruling states that the ban must apply to all religious insignia and cannot put any particular group at a disadvantage, it still allows discrimination to be justified under the guise of objectivity, and allows companies to cater to the prejudices of their clients while calling it a requirement for “neutrality.” The lives of so many European workers will be negatively impacted by this decision, which encourages backdoor discrimination. I urge you to stand up for human rights, and overturn the decision to allow workplace headscarf bans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: David Rosen