An air steward who was suspended by British Airways took the airline to an employment tribunal claiming he had suffered religious discrimination. However Rothstein Williams has been unsuccessful in his attempt to sue BA on the grounds of discrimination, reports The Telegraph.
The claim was based on an in-flight incident where the air steward, Rothstein Williams, was called ‘darling’ by a cabin crew colleague. This had caused him upset during the trans-Atlantic flight, and led Williams to make a formal complaint against the colleague following the dispute in May 2010.
There were also allegations that colleagues had harassed Williams, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, for reading his Bible at work.
The tribunal judge heard that the cabin crew member had asked Williams to collect glasses, and had ended her request with the endearment ‘darling’ instead of using his actual name.
Mr Williams told the panel that he regarded the term as an insult and said that not using his name offended his religion.
However, British Airways
senior staff said that calling someone ‘darling’ was one common way of dealing with the fact that so many cabin crew members worked together and were unlikely to be able to remember everybody's name.
Mr Williams appeared before an employment tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, where he attempted to sue BA for discrimination on religious grounds. However the tribunal failed to launch as Judge Jessica Hill ruled there was no evidence of discrimination.
"You have a lot of cabin crew working with a lot of other cabin crew. They can't remember each others' names so they call each other darling," said Judge Hill. "I cannot see how someone calling you darling is going to be accepted by a tribunal as offensive to your religion and beliefs."
Browse our cabin crew