A privately-owned French company claims to have become the first in the country to ban the wearing of Muslim headscarves and other prominent religious symbols at work. But critics say the move, which had the backing of employees, is against the law.
From Tuesday onward the 4,000 workers at recycling company Paprec, based in the Parisian suburbs will no longer be allowed to demonstrate their religious faith by wearing items like the Yarmulke/Kippah (the Jewish skullcap), Christian crosses and Muslim head or face covers.
Paprec's CEO Jean-Luc Petithuguenin said he set the new rules, which he claims are the first of their kind, after four months of negotiations with representatives of the company's employees. The result was an eight-article agreement that follows closely the principles already laid in French secular laws.