Shirley Chaplin (54) tapte ved arbeidsretten og fikk ikke medhold i at hun har rett til å bære sitt konfirmasjonskors til uniformen slik hun har gjort i 30 år. Chaplin føler seg diskriminert som kristen. Leder av arbeidsretten uttalte at kors ikke var obligatorisk for henne som kristen, og sa at han fant skaden hun ble påført var ubetydelig.
Shirley Chaplin, 54, took the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital to an employment tribunal, claiming that taking off a necklace bearing a crucifix would »violate her faith».
The trust said the move was not specifically about the crucifix, but about health and safety concerns about patients grabbing necklaces.
John Hollow, the chairman of the employment tribunal panel, found against Mrs Chaplin, who had worn the emblem throughout her 30 years as a nurse.
Mr Hollow ruled the trust had acted in a »reasonable» manner in trying to reach a compromise.
He said the damage to her was »slight» and noted that wearing a crucifix was not a requirment of the Christian faith.
In a 71-point statement, Mrs Chaplin, who wore the crucifix to the hearing in her home city of Exeter, said she was »personally convicted» to wear the emblem, given to her as a confirmation gift in 1971.
She said: »I have been a nurse for roughly 30 years and throughout that time I have worn my crucifix. The crucifix is an exceptionally important expression of my faith and my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
»To deliberately remove or hide my crucifix or to treat it disrespectfully would violate my faith.»
She started working for the trust continuously in 1989, being made a grade D nurse in 1994, and promoted to an E grade nurse on 2001.
Wearing the old uniform, the cross was visible and she wore it safely for 30 years, Mrs Chaplin said.
When a new-style uniform was introduced, there were still no issues until she was asked to remove the necklace last summer
It was suggested she pin the crucifix inside her uniform but Mrs Chaplin could not accept that.
She explained: »I was being asked to hide my religion and my faith. I found it disrespectful.»
In September a request to keep the cross pinned outside her uniform was turned down, she said.
This answer »confirmed to me that they simply wanted to remove the visibility of the crucifix», she said.
Last July, she was told she was facing a »disciplinary sanction». In August she was threatened with formal disciplinary action.
She said she received a letter in September telling her the cross was not a »mandatory requirement» of her faith, unlike Muslim headscarves, which »therefore could be exempted».
She said: »I view this as a clear discrimination against Christians. The respondent (the trust) clearly regarded themselves as experts on religious manifestations of all faiths.»
Christian nurse who refused to remove crucifix loses tribunal
A Christian nurse who was moved to a desk job after refusing to remove her crucifix has lost a claim for discrimination.