Christian fired for wearing cross necklace wins court case

ByThomas J. Pawlak

Jun 18, 2022

A Christian factory worker in Scotland who was made redundant after telling his supervisor he would not remove his crucifix necklace because it had ‘deep, deep meaning’ to him, has won over $26,000 in a lawsuit for religious discrimination.

Jevgenijs Kovalkovs, a quality inspector, was fired by his employer, 2 Sisters Food Group Limited in Coupar Angus, for wearing a silver necklace that had been sanctified at a christening ceremony for his godchild, according to The Telegraph.

Kovalkovs, a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, “had lost his job because of discrimination against him”, said Labor Judge Louise Cowen of the Dundee District Court. “His religion and the wearing of his necklace had a deep and profound meaning for him.”

Christian joined Chicken Wholesalers in November 2019 and was promoted to Quality Inspector, UK weather reported, adding that he wore a white lab coat over his clothes at work while his colleagues wore lanyards, ID cards and keys around their necks.

Her supervisor ordered her to remove the cross, a gift from her mother, saying she was considered a workplace hazard. Kovalkovs was later seen wearing it again at the factory and refused to take it off.

In accordance with the company’s foreign object control policy, staff were not allowed to wear jewelry, except for a single simple ring, in the production areas of the site. And religious jewelry required a risk assessment before it was allowed.

The line manager did not carry out a risk assessment, believing the issue had been addressed, the panel was told. Kovalkovs was later fired for failing to obey an instruction. His employment ended “immediately” as he was on probation.

The panel concluded that his dismissal was “entirely” based on the failure to report Collar during the induction course he took when he joined.

In a similar case in 2013, Nadia Eweida, a British Airways employee, won a historic legal battle at the European Court of Human Rights to wear a cross at work. The airlines had asked him not to wear his white gold cross “visibly”.

The court ruled that this was a violation of his rights under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, The Telegraph reported at the time.

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