Scrubs

“Crucifix nurse” loses discrimination claim

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Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Blend Images | Getty Images


Shirley Chaplin, the 54-year-old British nurse who claimed religious discrimination when her employer told her to remove her crucifix necklace at work, has lost her claim.

Chaplin plans to appeal the ruling and issued a blistering criticism of the National Health Service Trust.  “What the Trust doesn’t realize,” Chaplin says, “is that it sends out a very clear message to Christians working in the Trust…The message is clear:  Christians whose faith motivates their vocation and care of patients do not appear to be welcome at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust.”

While the Trust argued that their request was motivated by health and safety concerns — and backed by an official uniform policy — Chaplin’s proposal to add an easy-off clasp was rejected.  Chaplin also noted that female Muslim employees are allowed to wear the hijab.

Did the Tribunal make the right decision?  Or is Chaplin a victim of religious discrimination?  What role should religion play in the workplace?

Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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