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The European Court of Justice ruled on the cases of two female employees in Belgium and in France, who were dismissed for refusing to remove their headscarves, a day before a Dutch parliamentary election dominated by the issue of immigration and integration.
Employers may bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the court ruled.
The court, based in Luxembourg, said a workplace ban “does not constitute direct discrimination”.
The ECJ said in a statement: "An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination