After their parents ‘ time, the young Muslim woman suddenly appeared with a headscarf in her longtime employer, the drugstore chain Müller.

The head of the branch in the Region of Nuremberg responded promptly: With a headscarf, you could no longer work as a customer Advisor or to the Fund. The case of the 35-year-old Çiğdem K. went through the instances. On Wednesday, he employed the highest German Labour court in Erfurt. They sent the case to the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.

What is the procedure?

Ultimately, the question is whether employers are allowed to intervene in fundamental rights such as the freedom of religion of their employees – and if so, under what conditions. While the Federal constitutional court has established rules for the public service, it is now a private employer. For the first time since 2002, a headscarf case was before the Federal labour judges.

What should you choose concrete?

Whether to instruct, that your employees have to do without in a Job on conspicuous religious, political or philosophical symbols. Specifically: Can you say a headscarf ban with reference to a philosophy of neutrality, as the drugstore chain Müller? These beats need to on your dress code, to all employees. “Headgear of any kind” were prohibited in customer contact.

But a judgment yet?

no, on Wednesday, a different decision was made, first of all, The judge transferred the case – provided with a number of legal questions to the European court of justice in Luxembourg. You want more clarity, before you even cases, a principle of judgment.

But why the detour?

a blanket ban on the headscarf is While according to the previous German case-law inadmissible, was decided by the European court of justice (ECJ) in 2017, that a General internal prohibition of political or religious symbols in the workplace is not an immediate discrimination. The desire of employers to convey to your customers an image of neutrality, was a legitimate and belong to the freedom to conduct a business, the judges said. The ECJ played at the trial in Erfurt, a major role. It’s going to be a “fair balance of conflicting interests,” said judge drunk Gallner.

What is it legally?

The judge must be made between two fundamental rights weigh: tapered, it is about “freedom to conduct a business contra freedom of religion,” says Gallner. A judgment can affect thousands of workers – many Muslim are in the professional life. “It is the voltage relationship between labour, constitutional and European law, which makes this case so exciting,” said the work of law Professor Gregor Thüsing.

How did the woman working since 2002 in the market?

she sees the head cloth prohibition of discrimination – a violation of the equal treatment act as well as the fundamental right to freedom of religion. Before the Federal labour court, the 35-Year-old, who is currently on Parental leave appeared, with a silk scarf in grey and red tones. Your lawyer Georg Sendelbeck said, according to the previous case-law in Germany, a ban on the headscarf at the workplace would be justified only if the peace operation of the appliance in danger or economic loss through lost customers threatened. “It’s not here.”

what is the Position of the employer?

The Miller’s lawyers argued that the ECJ decisions. The company had exercised the management right and the instruction that employees have to appear without any conspicuous religious, political symbols in the workplace. According to information from the Müller-group in Germany has almost 15 000 employees from 88 Nations.

As decided in the lower courts?

For the woman. The first instance gave its action and said the headscarf ban to be invalid. The appeal of the drugstore chain, was dismissed by the regional labor court of Nuremberg, Germany, in March 2018.

when could cases, the Federal labour court a judgment?

It will be some time lag. First of all, the ECJ is on the train. Then the case moves back to Erfurt. This could take, according to experience, about one and a half years, it said.