Sweden: Muslim wins handshake lawsuit

Sweden: Muslim wins handshake lawsuit

Aftonbladet reports (SE) that the man had greeted the female CEO by putting his hand to his chest and explaining he was forbidden by his religion to touch women outside his family. The 28 year old now lives in Malmö and works in Denmark. He refused to be interviewed.


Sweden’s National Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) has been fined for discriminating against a Muslim man who had his benefits withdrawn after refusing to shake the hand of a female CEO.

According to a ruling in the Stockholm District Court on Monday, the agency has been ordered to pay 60,000 kronor ($8,000) to the man after it withdrew him from a labour market training scheme when he refused to shake the hand of a female CEO at a firm with which he was seeking work experience.

The court ruled that the agency was aware that the man's religious convictions prevented him from shaking hands with women he did not know.

The company elected not to offer the man an internship, later arguing that the decision was taken due to his lack of appropriate skills and experience.

The man lost his job seeker's allowance in May 2006 as a result of his withdrawal from the programme, and he reported the matter to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO).

DO found in favour of the man's assertion that he had been discriminated against and applied to the court to order the agency to pay 120,000 kronor in compensation.


Source: The Local

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