A Christian factory worker in the UK has won £22,000 in compensation after being fired for wearing a cross necklace at work.
Jevgenijs Kvalkovs worked previously as an employee in a plant for 2 Sisters Food Group Limited (Coupar Angus), Scotland. After being fired because he wore a crucifix, he successfully sued his employer.
Kovalkovs was a Russian Orthodox Church member and claimed the necklace with the cross symbolised his mother. “commitment to his belief”In Jesus Christ. He also told the employment tribunal that it was sanctified during a baptism ceremony for his godchild, The Telegraph reported.
However, despite the company having an exception for jewellery with religious significance, Kovalkovs’ line manager at the chicken factory had told him to not wear the cross. Upon seeing Kovalkovs wear the Christian symbol a second time, he was fired “immediately”.
The line manager referred to only as Ms McColl had argued that the necklace was a “hazard”The production and processing chicken.
The company’s policy stated: “Jewellery must not be worn in the production areas on-site, with the exception of a single plan band ring.”
But, religious jewellery could be exempted. They were subject to an exemption. “risk assessment”, which Kovalkovs claimed had not been carried out.
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At the tribunal hearing in Dundee, Employment Judge Louise Cowen ruled that it was demonstrated that Mr Kovalkovs “had lost a job as a result of the discrimination towards him”.
“His religion and the wearing of his necklace were of deep and profound meaning to him,”She added.
The tribunal ruled therefore in favour of Kovalkovs to the tune of £22,074.68, finding that the policy on religious jewellery was “indirectly discriminatory”.
Coupar Angus spoke for the company and said that: “We note today’s judgment and at this stage cannot comment any further.”
Earlier this year, a nurse for the National Health Service in Britain, Mary Onuoha won a case against the socialised healthcare system after she was demoted for refusing to remove her cross.
Croydon’s NHS Trust had stated that Onuoha’s necklace could infect others. Onuoha countered that this policy was arbitrary since members of other Christian faiths are allowed to wear relijious pieces such as bracelets or hijabs.
The tribunal ruled in her favor and found that managers of the NHS had been mismanaged. “had a particular problem with the cross”And had been shown “some form of conscious or subconscious prejudice towards the Christian faith”.
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