The Belgian branch of the popular Dutch department store chain HEMA has lost a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a Muslim shop assistant whose contract was not extended after she refused to stop wearing a hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf.

The woman had worked for the store in Belgian city of Genk for two months while wearing a headscarf, but after the store manager received complaints from customers, was then asked to remove it.

The woman, a Belgian convert to Islam, had been employed as temporary sales staff; HEMA declined to renew her contract because, its representatives said, of her refusal to remove her hijab.

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