BA worker who won landmark case over wearing crucifix at work claims airline 'punished her for whistleblowing'

Legal battle – Nadia Eweida, who won a landmark legal battle against British Airways, plans to launch fresh action against the airline (Picture: PA)

A British Airways employee who won a landmark legal battle to wear a cross at work is planning to launch fresh action against the airline.

Airport check-in worker Nadia Eweida won a claim of religious discrimination against BA in the European Court of Human Rights in 2013 after she was sent home for wearing a silver crucifix necklace.

She had been locked in the legal battle that was sparked by a new employee clothing policy in 2006, leading to a case that was rejected by the British courts but then saw her victorious in Europe.

Victimisation – Ms Eweida says she was victimised following the publicity surrounding her previous case (Picture: PA)

She eventually returned to work in February 2007 when BA’s policy was changed to permit the display of religious symbols, with the cross and the star of David permitted.

But the 67-year-old, who still works for BA, says the publicity that came with her case led to mistreatment when she returned to her role and is launching a new employment tribunal claim accusing airline managers of victimisation, harassment and punishing the 67-year-old for whistleblowing.

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It is alleged that bosses treated her rudely and harshly in the wake of the furore.

In one alleged incident in March 2017, Ms Eweida says she was denied a break after experiencing strain on her eyes in the wake of an operation and told to cover a flight gate instead, then given a written warning by management when she refused to do so.

Precedent – Ms Eweida said she hopes her new case will ensure the protection of other people in the workplace (Picture: PA)

A further uniform policy introduced in July 2017 required female staff to tuck their cravat in their blouse, meaning Ms Eweida had to wear her crucifix on top of her cravat – a move she claimed was designed to affect her.

She is hoping to win compensation, a declaration and recommendations from her claim, which is due before Watford Tribunal Hearing Centre on October 26 for a preliminary hearing.

Ms Eweida, who has launched a CrowdJustice fundraising page to help raise £30,000 to cover legal costs, told the Press Association: “It is victimisation over the years as a result of the cross case; they have never forgiven me and they never let it go. I want my day in court. For me, it’s for my self-respect.”

She said she hoped that the case would set a precedent ensuring “the protection of others in the workplace”.