London, Sep 19: Amrit Lalji, a British Airway's airport worker is fighting to get back her job, after she was dismissed for wearing a nose stud to work.
The 43-year-old worker of Stanmore, North-West London, working as a cleaner and customer relations worker for Eurest, which supplies food and services to BA VIP lounge at Heathrow, had refused to remove the stud as she considered it integral to her religious belief.
She had been wearing the jewellery without any complaints from customers since she started work in March last year. Last month, however, she was told to remove her stud or lose her job after a BA manager complained. She was fired last week after a disciplinary hearing.
Mrs Lalji said she was devastated by the action taken by the authorities. ''I am extremely upset by this and feel that I am being discriminated against. I had always made it clear that I wear it as part of my Hindu faith,'' she added.
''I am not expecting people to make huge exceptions for me but just asking for a little bit of tolerance and common sense over my wearing a nose stud,''Daily mail reported her saying.
A spokesman from the Hindu Council UK told newspersons, ''It is as integral a part of the Hindu wedding ceremony as the exchange of a wedding ring in a Christian marriage.
If the company concerned allowed wedding bands, why was wearing a tiny nose stud not allowed. A Eurest spokesman said the worker had been advised of company policies on several occasions that except a plain wedding ring and sleeper earrings, jewellery must not be worn on duty and flesh piercings were not permitted.
''Jewellery can harbour bacteria, create a hazard when working with machinery and find its way into food,'' he observed. Her decision not to return to work without the stud contravenes company regulations, resulting in her dismissal, he said.