Headscarf ban: Berlin paid compensation

Berlin paid a total of more than 22,000 euros to women with headscarves who were not allowed to become teachers. How the ban will continue is unclear.

The state of Berlin paid tens of thousands of euros in compensation to women who were not hired as teachers because they wore a headscarf. This is reported by the “Tagesspiegel” with reference to the response of the education administration to a written question from MP Elif Eralp (Die Linke). A total of 22,170 euros in compensation was paid.

Eralp wrote on Twitter that the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family preferred to pay compensation instead of respecting women’s rights. She is glad that the “unlawful practice” of the headscarf ban is coming to an end after the Berlin Senate administration’s complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court was rejected.

The Berlin neutrality law has so far prohibited teachers in public schools from wearing visible religious symbols such as the headscarf. It came into force in 2005. According to the “Tagesspiegel”, nine prospective teachers have complained since 2016 that they were not hired because of the headscarf. In 2020, the Federal Labor Court upheld the claim of a rejected woman. At the beginning of February, the state of Berlin failed with a constitutional complaint before the Federal Constitutional Court.

Wegner wants to stick to the headscarf ban

The Berlin Senate made a comparison with four women, according to the “Tagesspiegel”. One woman withdrew her complaint, and the Senate won the proceedings in three cases. The Federal Constitutional Court had already ruled in 2015 that a blanket ban on headscarves for teachers in public schools was incompatible with the Basic Law.

How the Berlin Neutrality Act will continue is still unclear. The old coalition of SPD, Greens and Left had agreed in the coalition agreement to adapt it to the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court. The previous Justice Senator Lena Kreck (Die Linke) actually wanted to abolish the neutrality law. However, the CDU and SPD are currently negotiating a new governing coalition. According to the “Tagesspiegel”, they want to stick to the law and adapt it in a court-proof manner. CDU top candidate Kai Wegner said in a t-online interview before the election that the headscarf and all other symbols do not belong in the school.


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