Ex Employee Sues Qantas Over Harassment

23rd Oct 2014

Georgina Sarikoudis, a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, cried foul after the airline company ordered them to remove the religious objects that they wore to work.

She was wearing a prayer knot with a crucifix attached to it as a pendant when she got the shock of her life. She considered it as a form of harassment and a clear violation of her basic rights.

She found it quite absurd how the airline allows head scarfs by Muslim women but object the use and even ban the wearing of religious jewelry items such as crucifixes and bracelets by non-Muslim employees.

Ms. Sarikoudis further alleged that the incident caused her emotional distress from embarrassment after her colleagues taunted her about her religious affiliations and the wearing of religious items.

Ms. Sarikoudis who hails from Ormond, used to work for Melbourne Airport as a customer service agent, accepted a redundancy package last year.

An airline spokesperson, however, denied her allegations saying it doesn't restrict anyone from wearing whatever jewelry they like, religious or not. She clarified, though, that the company has a standard dress code for its staff which prohibits any visible jewelry worn over their uniform. Wearers should wear them underneath their uniform instead.

The same spokesperson also made it clear that wearing head scarfs by women is perfectly fine as long as it the requirement of either their faith or for medical purposes.

She reiterated that the company allows their employees exercise their rights on matters related to their faith. Wearing religious items is not at all prohibited. Only they should be worn appropriately that won't violate the company's policy on dress code.

The airline also stated that their staff were always reminded about company dress code and they are expected to abide by the rules and guidelines governing it.