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IX v. WABE eV e MH Müller Handels GmbH v. MJ, Cases C-804/18, C-341/19, CJUE (Grand Chamber), 15 July 2021

Type Judgment
Case number C‑804/18, C‑341/19


Prohibition imposed by the company of a Member State on its employees from wearing in the workplace conspicuous signs of political, ideological or religious beliefs.

Normative references

Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation

Articles 10 and 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union


A difference in treatment indirectly based on religion or belief, resulting from an internal rule of a company which prohibits workers from wearing at the workplace any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious belief may be justified by the employer's desire to pursue a policy of political, philosophical and religious neutrality towards customers or users. That is subject to the condition, first, that that policy meets a genuine need on the part of that employer, which it is for the latter to demonstrate, taking into account, in particular, the legitimate expectations of those customers or users and the adverse consequences which they would suffer in the absence of such a policy, having regard to the nature of its activities or the context in which they operate; second, that that difference in treatment is capable of ensuring the correct application of that policy of neutrality, which presupposes that that policy is pursued in a consistent and systematic manner and, third, that that prohibition is limited to what is strictly necessary having regard to the actual extent and gravity of the adverse consequences which the employer wishes to avoid by such a prohibition.