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French high court upholds firing over head scarf

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls (C) speaks with inhabitants in Trappes, a suburb of Paris July 22, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/Francois Guillot)

PARIS: France's highest court has upheld an appeals court ruling in favor of a nursery school director who fired an employee for wearing a Muslim head scarf to work.

Wednesday's decision closes a six-year legal wrangle between the dismissed employee and the head of the private nursery school. The case has captured headlines because of potential implications for companies who want to extend a 2004 school ban on Islamic head scarves or a 2010 law banning face veils in the street.

However, the Court of Cassation made clear its ruling doesn't mean France's principle of secularism, which is behind the bans, can be universally applied to private-sector employees.

The court said that the nursery's rule forbidding religious displays was "justified by the nature of the tasks."

 

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