AUSTRIA: Court rules employer has the right to fire a Muslim woman for refusing to remove her Islamic headbag

The woman, who converted to Islam and started wearing a full face-covering headbag in the law offices where she worked, had sued bosses over her sacking.


UK Express (h/t Specs S)  But the court accepted the employers’ argument that a visible face is one of the basic necessities for communication and the termination of the woman’s contract was legally valid and not discrimination.

The ruling in the Austrian Supreme Court said the woman’s offer to remove her veil while dealing with members of the public did not go far enough because interaction with office colleagues would also be affected.

Austrian Freedom Party has been trying to get the Muslim headbag banned
Austrian Freedom Party has been trying to get the Muslim headbag banned

The veiled woman, identified only as Gertraud M and from Lower Austria, had previously worn a headscarf but started to wear a full veil when she got cancer and “wanted to be closer to Allah.” “I had considered not doing it because some problems would be predictable of course but my heart cried afterwards so I started covering my face.”

She continued: “I cannot understand why my employer thinks it causes problems in communication, that he cannot tell whether I understood his instructions or not. 

“He can look in my eyes, see my gestures and hear the pitch in my voice. My children understand me as well when I am veiled in a public place and speaking to them.