Christian Worker Fired For Wearing Cross Wins Religious Discrimination Lawsuit, Granted $26,000 In Damages

Christian Worker Fired for Wearing Cross Wins Religious Discrimination Lawsuit, Granted ,000 in Damages

A factory employee in Scotland who was fired after he refused to take off his crucifix necklace has won over $26,000 in a religious discrimination lawsuit.

A Christian worker at a Scottish factory has been granted over $26,000 after an employment tribual decided that he was a victim of discrimination at his workplace. Jevgenijs Kovalkovs, who worked as a quality inspector at 2 Sisters Food Group Limited in Coupar Angus, Scotland, was fired for refusing to take off a silver necklace with a crucifix pendant that was sanctified during a baptism ceremony for his godchild.

According to the Christian Post, Kovalkovs is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and was dismissed from his job "as a result of the discrimination toward him" Dundee tribunal Employment Judge Louise Cowen said. She added that his religion and the act of wearing the cross "were of deep and profound meaning to him."

Christian Worker Asked to Remove Necklace During Working Hours

Kovalkovs wore a silver cross necklace with 30 small links every day to work. When his manager asked him to remove the necklace because it was a "hazard," the Christian worker refused, saying it had a "deep and profound meaning" to him. His employer allowed religious jewelry subject to a "risk assessment," but Kovalkovs' manager never filed an assessment regarding the necklace, CBN News reported. Under the company's Foreign Body Control policy, the only jewelry allowed among staff is "a single plain band ring."

According to Wales Online, the manager did not carry out a risk assessment as she believed the issue had been dealt with. However, Kovalkovs filed a complaint about being bullied at work and was called upon for a meeting with a different manager in January 2020, during which he wore the necklace. He was asked to remove it and asked if his manager made a risk assessment. When he reported that there had not been a risk assessment, the line manager then became "embarrassed" that the issue was raised to the higher ups and was not "pleased" with the Christian worker.

Also Read: Christian Delivery Worker Fired For Not Working On Sundays Wins Case Against Former Employer

Kovalkovs then went back to work but when he was once again told to remove his necklace, he declined.The Christian worker was then sent to the company's human resource department, where he was told that because he failed to obey a manager's instruction during his probationary period, his employment had to be terminated effective "immediately." Scotland's employment tribunal however found that the company's policy and how it was applied were "indirectly discriminatory," causing them to order an awarding of more than $26,000 to Kovalkovs.

Christian British Airways Worker Also Won a Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

This is not the first time a Christian worker has won a religious discrimination lawsuit. Back in 2013, a British Airways check-in clerk emerged victorious after a six-year challenge to wear her cross at the workplace. European judges ruled that Nadia Eweida was told by British Airways not to wear a cross, despite allowing Sikh men to wear turbans and Muslim women to wear the hijab, the Daily Mail reported.

Eweida was suspended in September 2006. In 2013, judges ruled that there had been a violation of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and awarded the Christian worker over $33,000.

Related Article: Christian Nurse Celebrates Court Win After Being Fired For Wearing A Cross