Menold Bezler represents pharmacy chain Drogerie Müller before the Federal Labour Court

Landmark case concerning the wearing of religious symbols in the workplace

The tenth senate of the Federal Labour Court yesterday submitted a referral to the European Court of Justice concerning the wearing of religious, political or other ideological symbols in the workplace.

The plaintiff, a Muslim woman, is employed by pharmacy chain Müller. The company generally prohibits employees with customer contact from wearing large, visible religious symbols in order to maintain its neutrality in respect of its customers. Accordingly, it prohibited the plaintiff from wearing a headscarf.

This case raises fundamental issues concerning the entrepreneurial freedom of the employer and the religious freedoms of the employee, as well as the interplay between European law and national constitutional law. The Federal Labour Court has referred these issues to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary hearing.

Menold Bezler advised the company through all levels of jurisdiction.

Advisors to MH Müller Handels GmbH: Menold Bezler (Stuttgart): Dr. Frieder Werner (lead, employment law)

Experts: Dr. Frieder Werner

Areas of practice: Employment Law, Litigation and Arbitration

Sectors and Solutions: Dispute Resolution