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2 Int'l Lab. Rts. Case L. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/intlrcl2 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                INTERNATIONAL  LABOR RIGHTS  CASE LAW        INTERNATIONAL
 BRILL                        2 (2016) 1-2                        FLA W
NIJHOFF                                                       brill.com/ilarc


Introduction from the Editor-in-Chief


Discrimination at the workplace entails unfair treatment of certain employees
on the basis of their sex, religion, race, or other characteristics. This issue of the
International Labor Rights Case Law (ILaRC)-the  first in our second vol-
ume-sheds   light, with a specific reference to the freedom of religion, on three
recent and  interlinked high-profile cases involving discrimination at the
workplace.
   The first case, Tirkey v Chandhok & Anor, which was decided by the Employ-
ment  Tribunal of the United Kingdom, addresses caste discrimination. The
claimant argued  that she had  consistently been subjected to slavery-like
working  conditions by her employers on the basis of her low caste status.
The  Employment   Tribunal found numerous  breaches of employment   law,
including unlawful harassment on the grounds  of race and religion. In her
commentary,  Dr Annapurna Waughray  of Manchester Metropolitan University
discusses the implications of the judgment both for future lawsuits and the
development  of UK antidiscrimination legislation, which currently does not
explicitly regulate caste discrimination.
   The second case concerns a claim against the American clothing retailer
Abercrombie  & Fitch before the United States Supreme Court. The claimant, a
Muslim-American  woman,  Ms  Elauf, had been refused a job in 2008 because
she wore a headscarf during her interview, which conflicted with the compa-
ny's dress code. Civil rights law in the United States requires that employers
accommodate   workers' religious beliefs in the workplace. In its judgment, the
Court rejected an argument by the defendant that it was not aware that Ms
Elauf needed such accommodation. According to the Court, that the headscarf
was the motivating factor in the defendant's decision not to hire Ms Elauf is a
violation of workplace discrimination law. Michael Sheehan of DLA Piper's
U.S. office examines this decision in detail and reflects on the consequences of
the decision for antidiscrimination claims in the United States.
   The third case focuses on ajudgment by the German Federal Constitutional
Court on the legality of state neutrality legislation that prohibits teachers in
schools from wearing religious headscarves. The Court considered the general
ban to be an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion. The Court fur-
ther ruled that, in the future, a prohibition on wearing religious apparel in state
schools can be justified only with proof that it constitutes a sufficiently specific


© KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2016  DOI 10.1163/24056901-00201001

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