Displaying items by tag: Christian nurse
In a landmark ruling, an employment tribunal declared Mary Onuoha's dismissal for wearing a cross had been both victimisation and harassment, and Croydon NHS Trust had breached her human rights and created a 'humiliating, hostile and threatening environment' for her to work in. Mary was removed from her role as an NHS theatre practitioner and demoted to various administrative roles before resigning after facing two years of hostility from her NHS bosses. She was told that wearing a cross necklace breached the Trust's dress code - even though plain rings, hijabs, turbans and religious bracelets were permitted. The NHS said the wearing of a necklace was an infection risk. The tribunal judge said, ‘it is clear to us that the infection risk of a necklace of the sort the claimant used to wear, when worn by a responsible clinician who complied with handwashing protocol, was very low’.
Mary Onuoha, an operating theatre specialist at Croydon University Hospital, was bullied and pressured to remove her cross necklace while on duty. Mary says she was forced out of the job she loved after working there for 18 years. She is challenging the NHS trust for harassment, victimisation, and constructive unfair dismissal as they had breached her freedom to express her faith under the European Convention of Human Rights and the Equality Act. In August 2018 bosses ordered her to remove the cross which was a breach of NHS dress code and a ‘health risk’ to her and to patients. Mary argues that the dress code was applied inconsistently. Other nurses were not asked to remove jewellery, hijabs, saris, turbans or religious bracelets. Also Mary wore several lanyards at the same time with no anti-strangle clasps, yet her cross supposedly posed ‘a risk of injury or infection’.