Italian firm wrong to not hire hijab-wearing woman: court

An appeals court in Milan has ruled that a company discriminated against an Italian woman of Egyptian origin when it refused to hire her because she wouldn’t take off her Islamic headscarf.

Italian firm wrong to not hire hijab-wearing woman: court
The woman was not put forward for a role at a shoe fair because she refused to remove her hijab. Photo: Cristian/Flickr

The case dated back to April 2013, when the woman, who at the time was a university student, applied for a job as a hostess with an events company, which would have involved handing out flyers at the Micam shoe fair.

Sara, who was 21 at the time, was excluded from the selection process after saying that, if hired for the role at the two-day event, she would not be willing to remove her hijab.

She had responded to an advert from Evolution Events, based in Imola, which was searching for two women to hand out leaflets on behalf of a company exhibiting at the event.

After sending a photo of herself wearing the headscarf, the company asked if she would be willing to remove it, to which she responded ‘no’, explaining that she wore it for religious reasons.

Because of this, Evolution declined to send her application to its client. In court, the company argued that it selects applicants on the basis of “aesthetics and image” and that its clients “would never be so flexible”.

The woman, who was born in Italy to Egyptian parents, then sued for discrimination based on religion and gender.

A court in Lodi, Lombardy, rejected the case, arguing that the applicant for the role also had to conform with the employer’s “image” requirements.

The Milan appeals court overturned this decision, ordering the company to pay the woman €500 in damages.

Last week a tourist from Saudi Arabia wearing a niqab – a traditional garment worn by women, which leaves only their eyes on show – was stopped from entering a museum in Padua.

As the woman tried to enter the Musei Eremitani complex , security staff asked her to remove the veil so that she could be identified before going inside.

When she refused the request and demanded to know why she was not being permitted access to the museum, staff called the police, who eventually convinced the woman to show her face so they could check her identity.

Read more: Niqab-wearing tourist stopped from entering Italian museum


Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.