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Muslim woman wins headscarf case in Bern

Local News // Oct. 24, 2016
Muslim woman wins headscarf case in Bern

A Serbian Muslim woman has been awarded compensation by a Bern court after being sacked for wearing a headscarf.

It's the first time in more than 25 years that a Swiss court has had to rule on whether wearing a headscarf in a private company was grounds for dismissal.

The 29-year-old went to court, with support by the Swiss Islamic Central Council, after an industrial laundry centre in Bern fired her after she started wearing a headscarf at the beginning of 2015.

The company cited health and safety regulations and gave the woman an ultimatum to choose between her job or the headscarf.

Although the company's work regulations stipulated that employees must only tie their hair back, the company fired the woman a few days later.

The district court for Bern-Mittelland has now ruled the dismissal unfair and awarded the woman three months' wages and compensation of CHF 8,000.

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