News & Views

BA facing more legal action over religious HR

BY Katy Marshall
Employment law
BG Purple

Followers of LAWmail will recall that a few weeks ago we reported on four landmark HR cases being decided by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The court addressed one of the thorniest issues that employers currently face; balancing religious freedom against other equality rights. Only one claimant, Ms Nadia Eweida, was successful. Ms Eweida had sued British Airways for religious HR after they refused to let her wear a cross over her uniform.  

If BA thought the ECtHR had put this particular issue to bed, they thought wrong. Hot on the heels of her European success, it has come to light that Ms Eweida has raised another tribunal claim against BA. Although Eweida is remaining tight-lipped about the second case, it is understood that she is claiming that she suffered victimisation at the hands of her employer after raising her first tribunal claim (she has remained in the employment of BA throughout the legal battle). 

She is also thought to be claiming disability HR, alleging that BA failed to make reasonable adjustments after she was diagnosed with a back complaint and that they deliberately removed her from a rota during the London Olympic Games. 

No doubt BA executives will be less than impressed with the adverse press this new development will bring. However it is a useful reminder to other employers that, where an employee raises a claim and remains in employment they must not be treated less favourably as a result.

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