BA ‘crucifix case’ goes to European Court of Human Rights

Christian British Airways (BA) worker Nadia Eweida, who was not allowed to wear a visible crucifix at work, is taking her discrimination case against the airline to the European Court of Human Rights.

Personnel Today reported in February that Eweida had lost her case at the Court of Appeal, which ruled that BA was not guilty of discrimination by stopping her visible wearing of a cross at work.

Eweida had taken her case to the Court of Appeal after her case was rejected by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2008.

The airline put Eweida on unpaid leave from her job as a check-in worker at Heathrow in 2006 after she had refused to conceal her cross under her uniform. In 2007, BA amended its uniform policy to allow staff to display faith symbols and Eweida returned to work.

She claimed the suspension had discriminated against her, as Sikh employees were allowed to wear traditional iron bangles and Muslim workers could wear head scarves.

Eweida is now taking her case to the European Court of Human rights because she has “exhausted all legal avenues in the UK”.

She added that it is likely to take between four and six months before she knows whether or not her case will be accepted and heard. Eweida is asking the court to find that she was discriminated against and is seeking “just satisfaction” for wages lost during her suspension.

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