Home > Workplace > Denmark > 2001-04-05 - Eastern High Court of Denmark, Headscarf case, n. (...)

2001-04-05 - Eastern High Court of Denmark, Headscarf case, n. U.2001.207.V

Workplace · Denmark · Dismissal · Religious belonging

Unlawful dismissal of an employee because of her belonging to Jehovah’s witnesses

Key facts of the case - A., a female applicant to a job in a manufacturing company, was told that she would not be hired if she wished to wear her own headscarf during work and the headscarf could not be covered by a regulation cap. The employer claimed the dress regulation should be used by all employees and had not found it necessary to make a head coverage regulation that made the use of religious headscarves possible, even though a large percentage of the workforce was from ethnic, cultural or religious minorities.

Main reasoning of the Court - The court did not find evidence of direct discrimination. Accordingly, the main question was whether dress regulation constituted indirect discrimination in contravention of Act n. 459 of 12 June 1996 on prohibition against discrimination in respect of employment. The court held that the use of headdress regulation was fair and proportional and found for the defendant.