ECJ rules that Austrian law on Good Friday’s Public Holiday discriminated on grounds of religion and belief
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday ruled that Austrian law discriminated on grounds of religion and belief for not giving plaintiff Markus Achatzi holiday pay for working on Good Friday, a holy day for several Christian denominations marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Security agent Achatzi sued his company, Cresco Investigation of Vienna, in 2017 for additional pay for working on Good Friday, considered a public holiday for members of select churches. Austria’s Supreme Court asked the ECJ to rule whether the national law was discriminatory in nature.
In Austria, Good Friday is considered a public holiday for members of the “Evangelical Churches of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions, the Old Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.”
Achatzi worked Good Friday in 2015, but did not receive a paid holiday or double pay for working because he did not belong to any of those churches. He sued his company for discriminating against him on religious grounds.
His case eventually reached the Austrian Supreme Court, which in turn asked the ECJ to rule whether the national law making Good Friday a public holiday for members of select churches was discriminatory in nature.