BA fight religious discrimination appeal hearing

By politics.co.uk staff

The Christian BA check-in employee banned from wearing a cross on a chain at work will take her case to a legal hearing today.

Nadia Eweida is fighting to take the airline to the Court of Appeal but needs to win this hearing first as otherwise she will be forced to pay BA’s legal costs for the appeal, estimated at £58,000.

Ms Eweida wants to take the airline to court after the company changed its uniform policy to allow religious symbols to be worn but refused to pay her for the three months she was prevented from working for them while fighting for changes.

Ms Eweida lost her claim of religious discrimination at an Employment Tribunal, but has been granted permission to appeal.

The Court of Appeal has described the case as one of “general importance”.

Speaking today Ms Eweida said: “It’s grossly unfair that BA should attempt to bully me out of court when this case affects all Christians.

“Christians must feel able to express their faith in the workplace just as other religious dress is accepted – in a democratic multicultural society it’s imperative to have mutual respect for each other’s religions.”

Ms Eweida is being represented by human rights lawyers Liberty.

Speaking about the case, Liberty spokeswoman Corinna Ferguson said: “Today’s hearing is as important for access to justice as it is for freedom of conscience.

“Whilst it’s daunting playing David to the British Airways Goliath we must preserve respect for employees’ faith in the workplace.”

If Ms Eweida loses her case today against paying BA’s costs at the Court of Appeal this will effectively price the BA employee out of pursuing her case.