A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Finding My Religion

Cross on chain

By José I. Ortiz

Last year, in article entitled “Losing My Religion,” LASIS reported on four British employees who brought religious discrimination claims against their employers and lost all the way up through their country’s highest court. Their last recourse was the European Court of Human Rights that decided the four cases this January. Was it a happy ending for these lethargic litigants? As it turns out, the only Cinderella story here is that of Nadia Eweida, who wanted to wear a cross on a chain at her airline job.

This British Airways check-in clerk was awarded €32,000 which the government will have to pay (because that’s who she sued). In its judgment, the court stated that while companies have a right to project their desired image through employee uniforms, this right cannot trump an employee’s right to wear religious icons – to a degree. The decision is not entirely clear, and lawyers in Britain are battling over what it means for everyone else going forward. Meanwhile, the court has received twitter praise from Prime Minister David Cameron who tweeted that “ppl shouldn’t suffer discrimination due to religious beliefs.”

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