- A UK Employment Tribunal has ruled in favour of a Nigerian nurse, Mary Onuoha, who was dismissed in 2020 for wearing a cross necklace at work
- In its ruling in October 2021, the tribunal said Mary was unfairly dismissed by the hospital adding that the infection risk posed by her necklace was very low
- 61-year-old Mary who has been a staff of the hospital for 18 years claimed she had faced a campaign of harassment from her bosses since 2015
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Mary Onuoha, a Nigerian Catholic nurse, who was dismissed at a hospital in the United Kingdom for putting on a cross necklace at work has been given a favourable ruling by an Employment Tribunal.
The 61-year-old theatre practitioner was dismissed in 2020 from Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, UK where she had worked for 18 years, Catholic Herald reports.
Mary had however slammed the hospital for double-standards as she claimed that other workers wear turbans, saris, hijabs and skull caps without fear of sanctions.
She was first suspended from clinical duties
In the build up to her eventual dismissal, Mary was told that her necklace was a health and safety risk and must not be visible.
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Daily Mail reports that the hospital authorities suspended Mary from clinical duties after she refused removing the necklace following repeated warnings.
She was then demoted to work as a receptionist, a decision that left her feeling humiliated before being dismissed.
Her former employer claim faulted by the Tribunal judge
At the full hearing which took place in October 2021, Trust had argued that Mary's cross necklace was an infectious risk and her dismissal had nothing to do with her Catholic faith.
However, Employment Judge Dyal and the two other members of the tribunal disagreed stating that clearly such a risk was very low.
The Tribunal also found the hospital's action ''offensive and intimidating.''
“No real thought seems to have been given to whether it was really appropriate to discipline the claimant for doing something that in fact many others in the workforce (including more senior colleagues who worked just as closely with patients) were doing unchallenged.
“Equally, no real thought was given to the claimant’s point that others were wearing religious apparel in clinical areas and that she should be treated equally to them.”
The hospital authorities has since issued an apology to Mary stating that their code and uniform policy has been updated since the matter was raised.
Waitress fired for bleaching her skin
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh previously reported that a Nigerian restaurant had fired a waitress for bleaching her skin.
Narrating why the big stick was wielded on Twitter, @IkotSharon said the staff's skin was poorly bleached resulting in dark knuckles which sharply contrasts from her white skin.
Part of her tweet reads:
"So a lady got fired today cus she bleached so bad her knuckles were dark while her body was white."
When some of her followers raised objections to what they perceived to be extreme disciplinary action, she defended her decision saying the fired staff was given the option to wear gloves or but that she declined.
"I am not against bleaching your skin but just do it right. We do not discriminate staff with conditions of any sort. We offered to move her out of the floor due to complaints of her looking untidy. she declined...''
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