Teacher union to sue Quebec on religious symbols ban

November 18, 2019 - 2:39 pm

GATINEAU, Quebec (AP) — A union federation representing 45,000 teachers in Quebec is suing the Canadian province over its ban on the wearing of religious symbols by many public employees.

The lawsuit by the Fédération Autonome de l'Enseignement challenges a state secularism law passed this year that prohibits some civil servants from wearing symbols of religion, such as hijabs and crosses, while at work.

The most contentious rule is that any new police officers, judges, lawyers and teachers are banned completely from wearing any religious symbols while on duty. Existing employees get an exception.

A student studying to become a teacher and Montreal’s English school board are among those who have also filed lawsuits.

Nour Farhat, who wears a hijab and studied law to become a prosecutor, is among those affected by the law.

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