What is the Achbita case?
In 2006, S. Achbita was fired when she started wearing a headscarf at work. The case came before the Labour Court of Antwerp (2009), the Court of Cassation (2015), the Court of Justice of the European Union (2017) and the Labour Court of Ghent (2020). Below you can find a full chronology.
Solidarity must prevail - stigmatisation and discrimination of health workers has no place in our society
A new and scary discrimination trend seems to be arising in Europe – and worldwide – fuelled by fear of contracting COVID-19 against those that are in the frontline of action. The daily lives of nurses, doctors and health care workers is increasingly being affected by discriminatory attitudes and harassment.
More employment discrimination cases reported to Unia in 2017
Last year Unia opened a total of 2,017 cases of situations where people felt they were the subject of discrimination. This represents a 6% increase over 2016 (1,907 cases). Instances of employment discrimination were the most frequently opened cases at Unia.
Court describes effects of cancer as disability for the first time
An employer should have made adaptations to enable a woman who was unable to work for a long time due to cancer to continue doing her job, according to a ruling by the Brussels Labour Court. This is the first time that a court has recognised the lasting effects of cancer as a disability. The judge ordered the employer to pay 12,500 euros in compensation to the employee for discrimination. Unia acted as intervener in the case.
Unia reacts to the report on discrimination by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
Out of all survey-respondents of North African and Turkish origin who experienced discrimination in the past year in Belgium, 20% said it had occurred on the job market, while the European average on this point is 12%. This figure was brought to Unia’s attention in the Second EU-MIDIS report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
The Achbita case before the court again
‘The Achbita case must be retried. The Court of Cassation has overturned the previous ruling of the Antwerp labour court because it inadequately examined whether Ms Achbita’s dismissal was discriminatory,’ Unia says.
Supermarket convicted of racism in dismissal
The store manager of the Intermarché in Klabbeek was guilty of racism when he dismissed a black employee. That was the ruling of the criminal court of Walloon Brabant. The manager dismissed the man because some customers ‘didn’t want to be served by a black person’. Unia was a civil claimant.
The Achbita case: clarity about the headscarf ban in the workplace
A private company can only prohibit the headscarf for those workers who have visual contact with the customers. That is what the European Court of Justice ruled on March 14th.
Employer convicted for firing employee due to cancer
Unia filed a lawsuit against an employer who had fired a female employee, two years ago, because of her illness. The Ghent Labour Court (Kortrijk division) ordered the employer to pay compensation of 22,000 euros to the employee.
Age-based discrimination: an underestimated reality
If you are 45 years old or older, you are far more likely to be the victim of discrimination on the job market. For instance, a 59-year-old man's application was explicitly rejected because of his age. The labour tribunal of Ghent judged this to be a pure case of age-based discrimination.