A court in Berlin awarded a teacher with headscarf, who was prevented from teaching at a primary school, 8680 € compensation.
The court held that the neutrality law, which prevents any religious symbols from being shown in public institutions, deprived the applicant of equal opportunities. Aimed at facilitating the peaceful living together of different cultures, the neutrality law entered into force in 2005.
The court ruled in favour of the applicant, a German national born in Berlin, arguing that the opposing party failed to demonstrate how wearing a headscarf would disturb the peace in school. The ruling challenges the rule of secularism applied in Berlin, which strictly separates religion and public institutions.
While the ruling is merely binding on the parties of the case and does not require the German Federal Constitutional Court to review the legality of the neutrality law, it could serve as important precedent for future decisions.
Last year the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency organised a meeting to discuss how to prevent discrimination against Muslim women with headscarves and to exchange good practices. More information can be found here (in German).