IBB Law

British Airways Accused of Victimising Whistleblower

British Airways Accused of Victimising Whistleblower

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BA Religious Discrimination Against WHistleblower

A British Airways employee who successfully sued the company for religious discrimination five years ago is now bringing further legal action against the airline, alleging that she has been penalised by her employer for speaking out.

Nadia Eweida, a Coptic Christian, first sued British Airways in 2007, arguing that a new policy prohibiting staff from wearing any visible religious symbols at work constituted religious discrimination, after she was sent home from work for wearing a silver crucifix.

After the claim was initially rejected in the British courts, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) finally ruled in 2013 that BA’s policy violated Ms. Eweida’s human right to freedom of religious expression – as per Article 9 of the ECHR – in a landmark ruling for workplace discrimination.

In the time since this judgement however, Ms Eweida – who has worked as a check-in attendant at British Airways for 18 years – says she has been subjected to “victimisation over the years as a result of the cross case.”

It is claimed Ms Eweida was not granted a recovery break by her employer when she suffered eye strain following an operation, and was instead issued with a written warning for refusing to cover a flight gate due to her condition. The long-time BA employee also maintains that a new uniform policy issued in July 2017 which requires female staff to tuck their cravats into their blouses prevented her crucifix from being visible at work.