Sweden: Muslim woman required to taste pork in Employment Service course
Via Expressen (Swedish):
A woman from Finspång was supposed to go to a chef's course as part of a labour market program last year. During training, the employment service required her to taste pork. She claimed she couldn't take the course for religious reasons, but got no response.
"They wanted to force me to taste pork and then spit it out out. But I refused, I couldn't take the course. I was really depressed," she says.
The woman reported the case to the discrimination ombudsman, who thinks she was subjected to indirect discrimination. The authority also says that the requirement to taste pork was completely unnecessary.
In their assessment the ombudsman says that the Public Employment Service's actions weren't justified by a legitimate aim. The measure wasn't necessary nor appropriate to achieve a legitimate aim. The discrimination ombudsman is ready to bring the woman's case to court, but will offer the Employment Service to discuss a voluntary agreement.
The woman is very happy about the ombudsman's evaluation. "I trust them. This is very important for me. I have somebody who stands by my side," she says.
A few months after the incident she got a job in a restaurant. Now she plans to pursue the case and seek compensation for discrimination from the Employment Service, who in turn plan to meet with the ombudsman.