Muslim woman awarded damages by Austrian court for discrimination based on headscarf

According to the Anadolu News Agency, an Austrian court has given a Muslim woman who felt pushed to take off her headscarf during the application process for a job as a kindergarten teacher and ultimately was denied the training position €2,000 ($2,196) in damages.

The Litigation Association, which defended the woman in court, said that the Vienna Regional Court for Civil Matters in the second instance upheld this ruling on Monday.

The decision is enforceable in court. The woman, who was 19 at the time, planned to finish her training as a child group supervisor with a Viennese provider after gaining experience as a kindergarten helper.

According to the news statement published by the association, she was “repeatedly asked about her headscarf in a discriminatory manner” and told to “take it off” throughout the application process.

The Austrian Equal Treatment Act (GlBG), according to the Litigation Association, found discrimination on the basis of gender and religion.

“Repeated, intrusive inquiries concerning the headscarf are inappropriate during the hiring process. Theresa Hammer, director of legal enforcement at the Litigation Association, issued a statement. “The Court makes it plain that this can constitute illegal discrimination on the basis of gender and religion.

She added that the Court made it plain that access to training, in addition to the actual providing of the training, is covered by the prohibition against discrimination.

Sandra Konstatzky, the director of the Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment, claims that 74% of the complaints the Ombud receives on the basis of religious discrimination are from Muslims. 90% of these questions concern Muslim women’s experiences with prejudice.

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