Cases of derogatory remarks


Coop Danmark, a retail chain, must pay restitution of 175,000 kroner ($35,000) to a worker who was fired for calling a veiled Muslim a "black-headed gull". The court said that the comment was stupid but wasn't harassment, and even if the expression is derogatory, the employee was not abusive before and did not get to explain himself before he was dismissed.

Coop's lawyer said the sentence was very severe. It's the employer's responsibility to ensure a wholesome working environment, where the workers don't discriminate or harass each other. He says calling a colleague 'black-headed gull' could be seen as discriminating and humiliating and they had to react to that.

The court emphasized that the co-worked didn't call the Muslim colleague that directly. Based on the dismissed worker's own explanation, the court decided that the remark was stupid and thoughtless, but not directly harassment.


An employee at Salberga prison in Sala, Sweden's largest prison, was reported to the Justice Ombudsman for not treating Muslims well. Among other things he called Muslims dogs. He also threatened with isolation without any reason.

The report stated that many at the prison were very irritated with the employee and that it was increasing the risk of trouble if nothing was done.

Sources: DR (Danish), SR (Swedish)

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