Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Woman sacked for wearing Hindu nose stud.

A Hindu woman, sacked from Heathrow for wearing a nose stud signifying her religion, is today fighting to be reinstated.

Amrit Lalji, 40, had worked in the VIP lounge of Terminal One for more than a year when she was fired for wearing a tiny stud that her employers, Eurest, said could be hazardous.

Mrs Lalji claims she told her employers the jewellery was religious, but this summer a British Airways manager instructed her to remove the nose pin. When she refused she was suspended and later sacked. "As a married Gujarati woman it's a must to wear it. It only comes out when you become a widow. I told them that I can't remove my nose ring because my husband is alive," she told Times Online.

Mrs Lalji said she had produced a letter from her local Hindu community to support her case.

"I feel I am being discriminated against," she said. "It is only a tiny stud and I wear it as part of my Hindu faith."

...Click on the 2 links above and look at the photographs of Amrit, her nose stud is indeed tiny. I think her line manager is stupid, what you want in a workplace is good reliable staff. Staff should be motivated by managers not pissed off by bigotry. Amrit's nose stud is nobody's business except her own. Even if she was not wearing her nose stud in connection with her Hindu faith, the line manager should simply turn a blind eye.

Employers should not discriminate against an employee's religious beliefs or their sexual identities. A glance at Amrit's face would tell anyone that her nose stud was not a fashion statement but a religious symbol like the spot on her forehead.

I hope that in the end common sense prevails and Amrit gets her job back. Her line manager should be ordered to attend diversity training and grow up a little. Remember last year when Nadia Eweida was suspended by British Airways for wearing a silver Christian cross on a necklace, but the airline later backed down, after calls from the Archbishop of Canterbury for her to be reinstated. To claim there were Health and Safety issues is taking the piss and people know that it is only a minority of line managers who love to bully staff and demonstrate their power.
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