By Meg Jalsevac

LONDON, England, October 26, 2006 ( – British Airways has shown no signs of backing down in their dispute with Christian employee Nadia Eweida over whether she can wear a small cross on a necklace while on the job. As of today, after more than a month, Eweida is still on unpaid leave and the airline is expected to take further disciplinary action against her in the next few days.

BA says that their official policy only allows for jewelry, including religious symbols, to be worn underneath the uniform. The airline’s statement on the matter says, “This rule applies for all jewelry and religious symbols on chains and is not specific to the cross.” It goes on to say, “Other items such as turbans, hijabs and bangles can be worn as it is not practical for staff to conceal them beneath their uniforms.”

Eweida insists that the cross is not a jewelry piece but a symbol of her Christian faith.  She says that she is only claiming the right to be able to wear a symbol of her faith as Muslims, Hindus and other religions are allowed by the airline. Eweida is currently waiting to hear the results of BA’s decision by mail. If the airline will not back down, she plans to sue for religious discrimination.Â

Eweida has also been chastised and could face disciplinary action for taking her story to the press. Official BA employee conduct requirements allow employees to speak publicly about the company only with permission.Â

Eweida says that she has been over-whelmed with the support that she has received from her own country and across the globe. Her own MP, Vince Cable, says, “It is absolutely right that other religious minorities be allowed exemption from the dress code, but why can’t a Christian be treated in the same way?”

Public religious wear is a currently a highly controversial issue in England as only a couple of weeks ago a Muslim teaching assistant was mandated by law to remove her veil in class. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw publicly announced that he is requesting Muslim women remove their face veil when they come to meet him.ÂÂ

A British Airways employee told that the airline does not have a contact number for the public to voice concerns.

Contact British Airways by email through their website:

By Mail:

London Registered Office
  British Airways, plc
  PO Box 365
  Harmondsworth, Middlesex
  UB7 0GB

See BA Board of Governors list with contact information: