Christian factory worker fired for refusing to remove cross necklace wins discrimination case

Representative image.(Photo: Getty/iStock)

A Christian factory worker who has fired after refusing to take off a crucifix necklace has been awarded over £22,000.

Jevgenijs Kovalkovs was fired from his job at a chicken wholesalers in Coupar Angus, Scotland, after refusing to remove the jewellery, The Telegraph reports.

An employment tribunal in Dundee heard that he was ordered to remove the necklace by his line manager because it was deemed a "hazard".

He refused because of its importance to him as a sign of his "commitment to his belief".

He was subsequently fired for refusing to obey instructions from management to remove the item. 

A tribunal this week awarded Mr Kovalkovs £22,074.68 after finding that the company's actions were "indirectly discriminatory".

Employment Judge Louise Cowen said that it was clear Mr Kovalkovs "had lost a job as a result of the discrimination towards him".

"His religion and the wearing of his necklace were of deep and profound meaning to him," she said. 

Mr Kovalkovs is not the first Christian to win the right to wear a cross necklace at work. 

In 2013, Nadia Eweida won her case against British Airways after the European Court of Human Rights found that the airline had violated her religious freedom.