A committed Christian said today she planned to take legal action against her employers British Airways after the airline ruled that displaying her crucifix breached uniform rules
Heathrow check-in worker Nadia Eweida was sent home after refusing to remove the crucifix which breached BA’s dress code.
Note to Media: A crucifix has a corpus of Christ on it.
Her treatment by BA – which styles itself as the "world’s favourite airline" – brought condemnation both from Christian groups and members of other faiths last night.
BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh has upheld the action against Miss Eweida for failing to comply with "uniform regulations" despite himself coming under fire recently for failing to wear a tie.
Miss Eweida, who has an unblemished record during seven years at BA, is suing her employer for religious discrimination after being suspended from work without pay for two weeks.
She said her treatment was all the more extraordinary as she and fellow employees had just undergone "diversity training" – including receiving advice from pressure group Stonewall on how to treat gays and lesbians in the workplace.
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It makes exceptions for Muslim and Sikh minorities by allowing them to wear hijabs and turbans.
Under rules drawn up by BA’s ‘diversity team’ and ‘uniform committee’, Sikh employees can even wear the traditional iron bangle – even though this would usually be classed as jewellery – while Muslim workers are also allowed prayer breaks during work time.
A Catholic priest has become the latest homeowner to run afoul of the Westchase homeowners association.
Father Jeff Johnston appeared before the board Thursday night after he was told to remove a Celtic cross from near his door in the northwestern Hillsborough County community. His appeal was denied.
Board members told Johnston he was being cited under a section of the community’s deed restrictions that deals with sculptures that might be offensive to race or religion. Johnston’s attorney, Noel Flasterstein, told the board the cross was a symbol of national heritage. He questioned whether people would be allowed to have Nativity scenes at Christmas if the rules were applied uniformly.
"While it is a Celtic cross, it certainly is a Christian symbol," Johnston said. "It is not a garden ornament; it’s by the front door."
In March, Westchase resident Stacey Kelly clashed with the community association after posting a 2-foot-tall "Support Our Troops" sign in her front yard. It was a tribute to her husband, David, an Army private serving in Iraq. Three months later, she was cited for a pair of ceramic angels that had adorned her yard for five years.