Europe’s human rights court ruled in favor of a woman claiming to have been fired for failing to remove a cross necklace while she was working in what has widely been seen as a landmark judgment.
Nadia Eweida, 60, who worked at a check-in desk for British Airways at Heathrow Airport, claimed that she was forced out of her British Airways job in 2006 for refusing to cover or remove her cross necklace.
British Airways argued that wearing the necklace was in violation of company uniform dress codes.
The case made it to the European Court of Human Rights after the case was rejected by an employment tribunal, The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Lawyers representing Eweida argued that the airlines’ actions were in conflict with both articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit religious discrimination while allowing the universal right of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
The judgment was published in Strasbourg, France and stated that Eweida’s right to wear the cross necklace outweighed British Airline’s attempt to “project a certain corporate image.”