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Home > Workplace > Spain > 2002-09-09 - Superior Court of Justice of Baleares, n. 457/2002

2002-09-09 - Superior Court of Justice of Baleares, n. 457/2002

Workplace · Spain · Dress code · Religious belonging

A driver’s religious freedom prevails over the power of the employer to rule the business

Key facts of the case - A Jewish driver of the Municipal Company of Public Transportation of Palma de Mallorca started covering his head with a cap whilst at work in order to comply with his religious beliefs. Article 26 of the Worker’s Collective Agreement did not expressly allow this attire.
The worker defended his right to use such a cap on religious grounds, since his religion considers this is a symbol of respect for their faith.

Main reasoning of the court - The Superior Court of Justice considered that although the employer is perfectly competent to decide on the uniform that employees must wear, this competence should be exercised with respect to their fundamental rights and public liberties. Applying a proportionality rule, the Court concluded that the driver was allowed to wear the cap arguing that the worker’s practice did not involve any damage to the bus transportation company, since it was not proved that neither the labour activity nor the interests of the company had suffered in any way. According to the rule of proportionality, the driver’s religious freedom had prevailed over the power of the employer to rule the business.