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Home > Workplace > France > 2003-07-08 - Administrative court of Lyon, n. 0201383

2003-07-08 - Administrative court of Lyon, n. 0201383

Workplace · France · Dress code · Headscarf

The wearing of the headscarf by a civil servant constitutes a breach in her duty of neutrality

Key facts of the case - The applicant works as a labour inspector and is supervised by the ministry of employment. She repeatedly refused to remove the Islamic headscarf she wore at work. It resulted that her employer - the ministry - took first a decision of layoff and then a decision of temporary exclusion of two weeks, deeming that her refusal amounted to an infringement of the principle of laïcité of the state and the neutrality of its services. She claims the annulment of both the decisions.

Main reasoning of the court - On the legality of disciplinary decisions, the court emphasizes that they refer to the Council of State advice of 3 May 2000 dealing with the importance of abiding by the principle of laïcité of the State. The Court also states that the decisions rely on the importance of this principle for a civil servant with ensuring a mission of control. It results that the decisions were sufficiently grounded.
In addition, the Court holds that the civil servant conspicuously manifesting her religious beliefs while working and refusing to obey to the orders of her hierarchy constitute a disciplinary gross misconduct. The claim is dismissed.