Muslim convert wins tribunal case

A Muslim woman who said she was “humiliated” by her boss’s remarks about her decision to convert to Islam has won an employment tribunal case.

Caroline Elgedawy, 32, from Harrietsham in Kent, worked for Lincoln insurance firm Hanover Park Commercial.

She took the firm’s chief executive Andy Halstead to the tribunal after he said her refusal to eat non-halal meat was “pathetic”.

After a four-day hearing, the tribunal agreed she had suffered discrimination.

‘Treated unfavourably’

Tribunal chairman Martin Warren said: “Mr Halstead has a propensity to make remarks that some may find offensive.”

He said the company had discriminated against Mrs Elgedawy by not fully investigating her complaint in a “timely manner”.

“She has been treated unfavourably, but we are not saying that this is a racist organisation.

“Sadly, in these troubled times that we live in, commitment to diversity and equal treatment of fellow citizens is no guarantee that inappropriate views might be held or expressed about another’s faith.”

Maternity leave

But her claim that she had been refused a pay rise, had her annual bonus reduced and a company pool car removed because of her complaints was rejected.

Senior colleagues told the tribunal Mr Halstead was considered a “handful” who often made inappropriate remarks. But they added that no offence had ever been meant.

After the hearing Mr Halstead said he “could not possibly comment” on whether Mrs Elgedawy, who has given birth to a daughter, would return to work next week at the end of her maternity leave.

The hearing was adjourned to a later date to consider how much compensation to award Mrs Elgedawy.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday November 17, 2006.
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