British Airways Worker to Sue for Religious Discrimination

October 16, 2006 ( - A British Airways employee who was suspended for refusing to remove a necklace with a cross pendant plans to sue the airline.

Business Week reports that British Airways said company policy dictates employees must wear jewelry, including religious symbols, under their uniforms. The airline said in a statement that the policy applies to all jewelry and religious symbols on a chain and not just the cross.

“British Airways permits Muslims to wear a headscarf, Sikhs to wear a turban and other faiths religious apparel. Only Christians are forbidden to express their faith,” the worker was quoted as saying, according to Business Week. British Airways said such items are allowed because it is not practical to conceal them under a uniform.

Other news reports said the female employee was forced to take unpaid leave after refusing to remove the necklace, and her suit is being backed by The Transport and General Workers’ Union.