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BA employee to sue company over right to wear cross

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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like Sofie said, it's a Health & Safety requirement. It's as much for her safety as well as the safety of others.
    Of course, under Common Law, she is allowed to plead her case, but it will be thrown out, for sure.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote:
    Is it really the point?

    If she is a devout Catholic then it's like asking a Muslim woman to remove her veil while talking to them. I know Catholics who wear their cross with pride and would take offence to people asking them to put it away. I'm speaking hypotetically of course.

    She is not being stopped from wearing the item, just not in a prominant position - in line with company policy on other items of jewellery.

    Now, if you can think of a way to hide the fact that a woman is wearing a hijab then I'd agree that the two issues are similar. Sadly it isn't possible and they aren't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The issues are similar because religious attire is being restricted for one and not another.

    There's no reason why she can't do it, in exactly the same way there's no reason why an Islamic lady can't wear the uniform without a veil. The point is why should she be treated differently?

    I agree that religious preference should be a private matter, but as usual it is one rule for Christians and one rule for everyone else. And because they are Christians people see them as fair game, that it can't be racist and disgusting to do this because they are (usually) white and European.

    This woman should be treated the same as her colleagues- either you allow religious attire or you don't. I shall wait BA banning the hibab and the turban with baited breath...bet they don't dare.

    As for Health and Safety...wtf? How is it safe to be a stewardess in charge of 250 people on an aircraft when you get to look out of a letterbox on your face?

    Religious discrimination is illegal, and this is religious discrimination.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    I shall wait BA banning the hibab and the turban with baited breath...bet they don't dare.

    If it was rumoured that BA was even thinking about it there'd be an illegal strike.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    As for Health and Safety...wtf? How is it safe to be a stewardess in charge of 250 people on an aircraft when you get to look out of a letterbox on your face?

    You can't hold up a plane with a veil whereas you might with a crucifix! ;)

    Good post though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    The point is why should she be treated differently?

    Erm... I think that the point is that she isn't being treated differently.
    as usual it is one rule for Christians and one rule for everyone else.

    Details...?
    This woman should be treated the same as her colleagues- either you allow religious attire or you don't.

    Actually, the case should be either you allow jewellery, or you don't.

    Oh, hang on...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Erm... I think that the point is that she isn't being treated differently.

    She is.

    If she was a Muslim she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    If she was a Hindu she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    If she was a Sikh she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    But she's a Christian, and she has to hide her religious attire because it isn't "appropriate" for a carrier operating from a supposedly Christian country.

    If it looks like discrimination, and it sounds like discrimination, then it probably is discrimination. Not that I expect anything else- nobody dares restrict Islamic people, but seemingly Christians are fair game.

    Personally speaking, I don't think religious attire should be accomodated at all in corporate uniform- the teaching assistant in Dewsbury should have her case thrown out and have a huge legal bill charged against her. But as BA allow certain attire they should allow all attire.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually, the case should be either you allow jewellery, or you don't.

    Oh, hang on...

    Erm I think it's been said already that a cross has religious significance to Catholics and therefore not defined as jewellry.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    She is.

    If she was a Muslim she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    If she was a Hindu she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    If she was a Sikh she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.

    Again, how else can the relavant attire be worn except from openly?
    But as BA allow certain attire they should allow all attire.

    She can wear it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote:
    Erm I think it's been said already that a cross has religious significance to Catholics and therefore not defined as jewellry.

    Not defined as such by whom, exactly?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Again, how else can the relavant attire be worn except from openly?

    I think the point is that why should she hide it? And he's already debunked the "Health and Safety" reason.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not defined as such by whom, exactly?

    Erm Catholics, are you deliberately being stupid here?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    More to the point, why should the company policy not apply to her if it does to anyone else?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote:
    Erm Catholics, are you deliberately being stupid here?

    Not at all, just trying to get to the nub here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    More to the point, why should the company policy not apply to her if it does to anyone else?

    It doesn't apply to Hindus,Muslims and other people who wear religious attire.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote:
    Erm I think it's been said already that a cross has religious significance to Catholics and therefore not defined as jewellry.
    What's the 'religious significance', again?

    'Do you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fuckin' cross?' - Bill Hicks
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jesus gave his life on the cross so that all may be saved, it's a fairly key bit in most angles of Christianity. When Jesus came back after the crucifixtion he showed his followers the wounds from the crucifixtion, hardly the kind of thing he'd do if he never wanted to be reminded of it ever again!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jesus gave his life on the cross so that all may be saved, it's a fairly key bit in most angles of Christianity. When Jesus came back after the crucifixtion he showed his followers the wounds from the crucifixtion, hardly the kind of thing he'd do if he never wanted to be reminded of it ever again!

    I guess he would forgive BA for any alleged wrong doings ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    More to the point, why should the company policy not apply to her if it does to anyone else?

    The company policy is that religious attire can be openly worn.

    If everyone else can, why is it different for a Catholic?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    The company policy is that religious attire can be openly worn.

    If everyone else can, why is it different for a Catholic?
    I actually agree. Alot of people wear a cross as a fashion statement, she really is genuinely wearing it for her faith. Realistically she should be allowed to wear it, but tbh I cant see it happening.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    If she was a Muslim she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.
    No she wouldn't.
    If she was a Hindu she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.
    No she wouldn't.
    If she was a Sikh she would be allowed to wear her religious attire openly and proudly.
    No she wouldn't.

    Seeing as the message is not getting through with some people, let us remind ourselves once more of BA's rules on the issue

    "British Airways uniform standards stipulate that adornments of any kind are not to be worn with the uniform."

    "British Airways does recognise that uniformed employees may wish to wear jewellery including religious symbols.

    "Our uniform policy states that these items can be worn, underneath the uniform. There is no ban.

    "This rule applies for all jewellery and religious symbols on chains and is not specific to the Christian cross."


    Couldn't be simpler really... :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But since all of this has been repeated to no avail, let me try once more.

    The rule applies to JEWELLERY.

    And it applies to ALL religions, as well as to non-religious jewellery.

    I hope this clears things once and for all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what I understand of BA uniforms you can wear a necktie which covers your neck and she can wear a cruxifix underneath. She's out to try and make a point (probably with the hope of a nice payout).

    Frankly like the Moslem support assistant in Yorkshire I hope she looses her case and they make her pay damages.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin, so the Muslim staff don't wear veils, and the Sikhs don't wear turbans?

    Oh, they do wear them? Well its discrimination, then.

    I'd ban all of it, including veils and turbans, but as BA are too scared to then they have to let everyone wear their religious symbols.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    Aladdin, so the Muslim staff don't wear veils, and the Sikhs don't wear turbans?

    Oh, they do wear them? Well its discrimination, then.
    Since when have veils and turbans been jewellery?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What's jewellery got to do with it?

    It's either eligiouos attire or not. I'd like to see not, but it should be done fairly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    What's jewellery got to do with it?
    Jewellery has everything to do with it.

    The ban on openingly displayed items refers to jewellery, not to cloth garments.

    Therefore there is absolutely no case to answer here. Nobody is being discriminated against. And by BA's rules a Muslim wearing a Cresent Moon pendant would have been told to to cover it just as this woman was asked to cover her cross. Unless somebody can prove someone else was allowed to displayed jewellery, there is no discrimination here.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Posts: 16,688 Skive's The Limit
    Kermit wrote:
    The company policy is that religious attire can be openly worn.
    As far as I can tell, the company policy is that religious attire can be openly worn IF it can't be hidden. And a cross can.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Forgetting history

    The management of British Airways plc., that at one time had the superb tag line “Fly the Flag”, should familiarise themselves with the composition of the flag this nation. The Union Flag is blazoned Azure, the Crosses Saltire of St Andrew and St Patrick, quarterly per saltire, counterchanged Argent and Gules, the latter fimbriated of the second, surmounted by the Cross of St George of the third, fimbriated as the saltire. Three crosses being the sole elements of the flag. This might prompt them to ponder that snippets of a bastardized Union Flag are the essential elements of the British Airways corporate identity.

    Then they might think about their boasting of their Diversity Policy:

    Religion and belief
    British Airways is a global and diverse company, which employs individuals of all faiths. To reflect the extended range of religions followed by our employees we provide prayer facilities across the business.

    To support our religious strategy we consult with the religious societies in British Airways and the Race Resource Group. We also publish a monthly religious festivals newsletter on our intranet site with the aim of raising awareness on the different cultures across the company:...


    Perhaps the different cultures they wish to acknowledge are the alien ones; invading and overwhelming the Judeo - Christian culture of the United Kingdom.

    In the meantime; I sincerely hope the witch finder, er I mean cross hunter general at BA is being equally vigilant during this time of heightened air security at ensuring that there are no kirpans to be found on members of their staff employed in sterile areas or on-board aircraft.

    I am amazed at the comments to the effect that BA is correct because the employee signed a contract which reportedly states that items of jewellery are not to be worn by staff. As a chief shop steward while in the UK and as a president of a union here in Canada, I have fought and won every grievance where the issue was one of "custom and practise" or the right to wear an item that identifies one's religious beliefs. English Common Law in many states around the planet is legion with the acceptance of custom and practise, allowing it to override contracts and company rules and/ or regulations. Allowances are constantly being made for people of non Judeo / Christian religions to wear clothing or other items that they are required to wear or even is just a preference to demonstrate their religious affiliation. e.g. Sikhs are allowed to wear kirpans (small ceremonial knives) and turbans. Even children of the Sikh faith are allowed to wear their kirpans to school. Sikhs are exempt from the law that requires motorcycle drivers and riders to wear crash helmets. Yes, I agree that it is difficult to wear a crash helmet over a turban. However, I thought that the turban was only to cover the uncut hair. I wonder why a crash helmet is not acceptable replacement for a turban when on riding a motorcycle. There are an increasing number of Muslim women that are wearing Hijabs or Burqas at work. etc, etc. So if this employee and other have been wearing a crosses or crucifixes for some time they should be allowed to continue to do so as it has become custom and practise. Demonstrating ones religion while at work is not a problem unless one proselytizes that religion in the workspace or a presents some danger to others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    rachie004 wrote:
    And she has that right, however the uniform standards clearly state that it must be covered by the uniform. The necklace could be covered by the neck tie by altering how it's worn which she apparently refused to do.

    As for turbans, the uniform standards even dicate what colour they should be.
    And there lies the conundrum; or is it an oxymoron? If I understand what you are saying they allow her ( or any other employee) to wear an item that allows them to IDENTIFY their religious affiliation / belief, except the item must be covered by the uniform. Surely, if the item is covered up, the employee is not being allowed to display their religious affiliation.

    There is no religious requirement for Sikhs to wear turbans. They wear them as a preference to cover their uncut hair. All of my Sikh friends here have stopped wearing their turbans because they were fed up with them getting soaking wet and never drying after rain or snow. They tell me that they are still good Sikhs. So any stipulation regarding colour or dimensions does not infringe on the practise of their religion.
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