BA employee rejects 'cross' offer

nadia ewidaSource BBC  

A British Airways employee fighting to openly wear a cross necklace at work has rejected a compromise deal.

Nadia Eweida, 55, said BA has offered her a job in recruitment where she would not have to conceal her cross.

The check-in worker, from Twickenham, south-west London, plans to sue BA for religious discrimination after being told to conceal her necklace.

The airline said its uniform policy stated such items could be worn if concealed underneath the uniform.

Ms Eweida told the BBC she did not see why she should compromise "when my colleagues of other faiths are there in public view in uniform and they are accepting of their religious apparel".

Deeply-held beliefs

Ms Eweida, who has been with BA for seven years, said she wore the cross because of her deeply-held religious beliefs.

She is from an Egyptian background and attends Pentecostal as well as Arabic churches.

She claims she has been "forced" to take unpaid leave after refusing to conceal her cross.

BA said she had not been suspended and she was free to resume her post as long as she adhered to its uniform policy.

A BA spokesman confirmed Ms Eweida had been offered a temporary position in recruitment where uniforms are not required and she could openly wear a cross.

"We are not aware of any legal action on this issue," she said. "Ms Eweida has raised a complaint internally.

"She is claiming discrimination but in our view, it is a uniform policy which has been in place for years."

The airline has said items such as turbans and bangles could be worn as it was impractical for staff to conceal them.

The airline has been accused of double standards by some Christian groups.

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