Anti-Discrimination Legislation Interferes with Religious Freedom
A senior Christian religious official looking for a secretary, asked the Austrian equal treatment commission before publishing a job advertisement: would it be permissable to reject a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman? The answer was no.In transposition of EU – law, Austria has adopted strict non-discrimination legislation in the employment sector. When a Christian religious official was looking for a secretary, his legal advisor asked the equal treatment commission before publishing a job advertisement: would it be permissable to reject a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman? The answer was no. On the basis of the first four equal treatment directives, European law allows a distinction due to religion in church employment only when there is a “genuine, legitimate and justified occupational requirement”, such as when it comes to preaching to the faithful. The here concerned Church dignitary decided not to publish the job advertisement, but to look for someone privately. Doing so many qualified potential applicants did not hear about the job - a sad consequence of overboarding interference in non-governmental concerns. Source: known to Observatory.