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Att skaka eller inte skaka hand (2.0) - om en enkel handlings djupare mening

Torstensson, My LU (2016) JURM02 20162
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Så kallade ”handskakningsfall” har varit brinnande aktuella i den svenska
debatten under nästan hela 2016. Det har företrädesvis handlat om religiösa
män som, med hänvisning till sin religiösa övertygelse, valt att inte skaka
hand med en kvinnlig chef eller kollega. Männens nekade handskakning har
lett till att de inte fått en sökt praktikplats eller arbete och de har i och med
missgynnandet menat att de blivit diskriminerade på grund av sin religion.

Svenska domstolar har företrädesvis hanterat händelserna som direkt
diskriminering eftersom männen har behandlats sämre än vad en annan
person som, av annan anledning, valt att inte skaka hand skulle ha
behandlats. Jag menar att det hade vart intressant att se handskakningsfall
... (More)
Så kallade ”handskakningsfall” har varit brinnande aktuella i den svenska
debatten under nästan hela 2016. Det har företrädesvis handlat om religiösa
män som, med hänvisning till sin religiösa övertygelse, valt att inte skaka
hand med en kvinnlig chef eller kollega. Männens nekade handskakning har
lett till att de inte fått en sökt praktikplats eller arbete och de har i och med
missgynnandet menat att de blivit diskriminerade på grund av sin religion.

Svenska domstolar har företrädesvis hanterat händelserna som direkt
diskriminering eftersom männen har behandlats sämre än vad en annan
person som, av annan anledning, valt att inte skaka hand skulle ha
behandlats. Jag menar att det hade vart intressant att se handskakningsfall
som indirekt diskriminering. För att ”undvika” direkt diskriminering måste
arbetsgivaren ha någon typ av jämställdhetspolicy, som anledning till kravet
på handskakning, som gör att inte vissa grupper drabbas extra hårt. Eftersom
ingen arbetsgivare har presenterat ett äkta jämställdhetsintresse har följden
blivit att inget fall prövats som indirekt diskriminering.

Eftersom praxis och doktrin är begränsat vad gäller handskakningsfall har
jag sökt information i andra situationer där religionsfrihetens räckvidd på
arbetsplatser har problematiserats i en svensk- och europeisk kontext. I
Sverige har jag jämfört med de så kallade barnmorskefallen medan jag i
europeisk praxis har gjort en jämförelse med rätten till att bära muslimsk
slöja. Så kallade ”slöjfall” har prövats av Europadomstolen och två fall är
under prövning i EU-domstolen för tillfället, än så länge har dock endast två
generaladvokater skrivit förslag till avgörande. Dessa förslag till avgörande
pekar tydligt på att en arbetsgivare som presenterar en välavvägd policy,
som inte drabbar någon grupp hårdare än en annan, har stor chans att vinna i
en proportionalitetsbedömning.

I Europadomstolens praxis har jag uppfattat en skillnad mellan vad jag
kallar passiva symboler och aktiva handlingar. Slutsatsen jag drar är att om
passiva symboler i stor utsträckning kan begränsas, borde aktiva handlingar
i än högre grad kunna begränsas. Aktiva handlingar är till sin natur mer
inkräktande på andras rättigheter.

Vad gäller handskakningsfall menar jag att det inte ska gå att kräva att en
religiös person hälsar på ett sätt som är mer intimt än vad personen är
bekväm med, däremot menar jag att det är rimligt att kräva att den religiösa
personen väljer samma hälsningssätt gentemot män och kvinnor. Kvinnor
har rätt att inte bli behandlade på ett annat sätt än sina manliga kollegor. (Less)
Abstract
During 2016 there was a widespread debate in Sweden regarding ways of
greeting one another in a work environment. Mostly there have been cases
where a muslim man refuses to shake hands with a female boss or coworker,
with regards to his religious beliefs. The refusal of shaking hands
has led to the men missing job opportunities and internships. Because of this
these men have argued that they have been discriminated because of their
religion.

Swedish courts have preferiantially handled these cases as direct
discrimination, since the men have been treated worse then another person
who, for another reason, refuses to shake hands. My opinion is that it would
be interesting to examine these cases as indirect discrimination instead.... (More)
During 2016 there was a widespread debate in Sweden regarding ways of
greeting one another in a work environment. Mostly there have been cases
where a muslim man refuses to shake hands with a female boss or coworker,
with regards to his religious beliefs. The refusal of shaking hands
has led to the men missing job opportunities and internships. Because of this
these men have argued that they have been discriminated because of their
religion.

Swedish courts have preferiantially handled these cases as direct
discrimination, since the men have been treated worse then another person
who, for another reason, refuses to shake hands. My opinion is that it would
be interesting to examine these cases as indirect discrimination instead. To
”avoid” direct discrimination the employer needs to present some kind of
”equality policy” that does not affect some groups worse, or more, then
other groups. Since no employer has presented a true equality policy no case
has been tried as indirect discrimination.

Since the present case law, and the doctrine, is limited I have searched for
information in similar cases: namely cases where muslim women have been
refused to wear the muslim headscarf at workplaces. The European Court of
Human Rights have ruled in several cases and also the EU Court currently
have two cases pending before court. In the two cases pending before the
EU court the Advocate General has presented proposals to judgements. The
two cases makes clear that employers who can present an honest policy have
a good chance of winning in a proportionality test.

In the case law of the European Court of Human Rights I have found a
distinction between passive symbols and active actings. My conclusion is
that there is a tendency in limiting the use of passive symbols, which should
lead to a possibility to also limit the expression of active actings. An active
acting is by nature more intruding on others.

As for situations of handshaking or no handshaking I would argue that it is
important to not demand from a religious person to act in a way which is
beyond his or her comfort zone. Nevertheless a person’s religion should not
get in the way of greeting both men and women in an egalitarian way.
Women have the right to not be treated differently from their male coworkers. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Torstensson, My LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
To shake or not to shake hands - about the deeper meaning of a simple act
course
JURM02 20162
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
arbetsrätt, diskrimineringsrätt
language
Swedish
id
8897710
date added to LUP
2017-01-25 10:58:21
date last changed
2017-01-25 10:58:21
@misc{8897710,
  abstract     = {During 2016 there was a widespread debate in Sweden regarding ways of
greeting one another in a work environment. Mostly there have been cases
where a muslim man refuses to shake hands with a female boss or coworker,
with regards to his religious beliefs. The refusal of shaking hands
has led to the men missing job opportunities and internships. Because of this
these men have argued that they have been discriminated because of their
religion.

Swedish courts have preferiantially handled these cases as direct
discrimination, since the men have been treated worse then another person
who, for another reason, refuses to shake hands. My opinion is that it would
be interesting to examine these cases as indirect discrimination instead. To
”avoid” direct discrimination the employer needs to present some kind of
”equality policy” that does not affect some groups worse, or more, then
other groups. Since no employer has presented a true equality policy no case
has been tried as indirect discrimination.

Since the present case law, and the doctrine, is limited I have searched for
information in similar cases: namely cases where muslim women have been
refused to wear the muslim headscarf at workplaces. The European Court of
Human Rights have ruled in several cases and also the EU Court currently
have two cases pending before court. In the two cases pending before the
EU court the Advocate General has presented proposals to judgements. The
two cases makes clear that employers who can present an honest policy have
a good chance of winning in a proportionality test.

In the case law of the European Court of Human Rights I have found a
distinction between passive symbols and active actings. My conclusion is
that there is a tendency in limiting the use of passive symbols, which should
lead to a possibility to also limit the expression of active actings. An active
acting is by nature more intruding on others.

As for situations of handshaking or no handshaking I would argue that it is
important to not demand from a religious person to act in a way which is
beyond his or her comfort zone. Nevertheless a person’s religion should not
get in the way of greeting both men and women in an egalitarian way.
Women have the right to not be treated differently from their male coworkers.},
  author       = {Torstensson, My},
  keyword      = {arbetsrätt,diskrimineringsrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Att skaka eller inte skaka hand (2.0) - om en enkel handlings djupare mening},
  year         = {2016},
}