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City pays damages over job seeker headscarf row

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15:35 CEST+02:00
The City of Stockholm is to pay 35,000 kronor ($4,500) in compensation to a woman who was forced to leave a municipal training course for wearing a long headscarf.

The course was aimed at helping people secure jobs in the cleaning business. But when the woman arrived at class the first day she was told that prospective employers would not accept the way she dressed. As a result, the woman's name was struck off the list of course participants.

The incident, which occurred in April 2008, was reported to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – DO). The ombudsman elected to sue the city on grounds of discrimination but on Thursday the two sides were able to reach an out of court settlement.

“Ethnic and religious diversity are part of today's Swedish labour market. Employers are bound by law to prevent religious discrimination and unions have a key role to play in driving this issue,” said ombudsman Katri Linna in a statement announcing the compensation agreement.

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