UK: «No human right to wear a visual cross at work»

British Airways employee loses appeal in indirect discrimination over Coptic pendant case.

Nadia Eweida shows off her cross on a chain as she arrived in court.

Nadia Eweida is a devout British Egyptian Coptic Christian. In September 2006 she was sent home from her work after refusing to conceal a small cross around her neck, which she claimed was an expression of her faith. She took her employer British Airways (BA) to court.

This week Eweida lost her appeal against the airline. She claimed she was entitled to UK Pounds 12,000 compensation in damages and to cover lost salary before her eventual return to work after BA relaxed their uniform rules the following year.

Nadia Eweida

But the High Court decided BA was justified in applying a blanket ban on the wearing of visible jewellery for a customer-facing employee. The court ruled Eweida was not indirectly discriminated against because the company made it clear such jewellery should not be visible.

Source: Multiple British media.

My comment:

I am a Christian, but here I have to agree with the British court. British Airways did not ask this Egyptian lady to give up her faith, not to renounce her faith in Jesus as her saviour.

In principle, an employer has the right to decide the dress code of an employee, and even make a uniform code mandatory. There are pendant free work zones, like in the Heavy Industry and surgery rooms at hospitals.

Nadia Eweida was not told to remove her cross. She was told to put the Christian symbol behind her shirt. Before or after office hours, she was free to expose her pedant.

British Airways are not without blame. They could have made a cross a part of their uniforms or logo. And displayed that they are proud of the Christian heritage of United Kingdom.

Like the Scandinavian countries, that have a cross in the center of their national flags.

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