Europe's top court handed down a ruling on Tuesday that allows employers to ban workers from wearing any "visible religious symbols," including the hijab.
This means a woman wearing the religious headscarf can be denied a job simply because of how she dresses.
While the European Court of Justice's ruling would technically apply to all religious symbols, including Christian crosses, the Hindu bindi (red forehead dot) and the Jewish kippah, the specific cases brought before the court featured Muslim women.
The ruling specifically addressed a Belgian woman working for G4S Secure Solutions. She was banned from wearing the headscarf as part of a company policy barring all visible religious symbols. Another case involved a French woman who works in IT. She was asked to remove the hijab after a client complained.
Throughout Europe, Islamophobia is on the rise, with populist anti-Muslim politicians rising to prominence. The hijab has been a particular point of contention in several European countries, with France and other countries attempting to issue or issuing bans on the religious garment.
Many have taken to social media to criticize the ruling.
It's telling women how they can or cannot dress
This is "oppression"
It stigmatizes Muslim women
Hijabis already face so much discrimination
And some fear Europe is trying to ban Islam itself
Perceptions of Muslims vary significantly from country to country throughout Europe, with the most negative sentiments arising in Eastern Europe. But negative sentiments are also on the rise in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
While right-wing Western leaders have sounded alarm bells at the influx of Muslim immigrants, Muslims are only projected to account for 10 percent of Europe's population by 2050.