Sweden: Muslim woman wins religious discrimination case


Sweden: Muslim woman wins religious discrimination case

A Muslim woman will get 40,000 Swedish krona ($4,366) in damages from a company that discriminated against her faith-based choices during a job interview, a Swedish court ruled.

Farah Alhajeh’s job interview in Uppsala, eastern Sweden was cancelled when she did not shake hands with the interviewer due to her religious beliefs, but instead chose to bow her head, according to a statement by Sweden’s equality ombudsman.

Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman took the case to the Labour Court last year. The Swedish Labour Court ruled that she was indirectly discriminated against. The Court said in its ruling that understanding her religious reasons for preferring such a greeting meant “there is no reason to perceive (it) as degrading or as a rejection and it would therefore not have to lead to conflicts in the workplace”.

It also criticized the policy “for excluding those people who interpret Islam in the same way” as the woman, but did note that the employer’s intent had not been to discriminate against her. When ruling on damages owed to the woman, it took that into account and the fact that it was impossible to determine if she would have been given the job had the interview been completed.

Source: The Muslim News

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