A female security guard who objected to wearing a festival band because she held a belief that wearing bracelets was "a sign of the devil" has lost her religious discrimination care.

Mariana Nijiloveanu, a Romanian Orthodox Christian, was unsuccessful in her employment tribunal against Vigilant Security (Scotland) Limited, which was sold last year in a £6.5million take-over deal.

She was asked to help manage security at last year's Eden Festival, which is held over four days in June in Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.

The security guard was required to wear a plastic band that indicated the areas of the festival site that the wearer could access.

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Prior to the event, the tribunal was told that Ms Nijiloveanu had not expressed any issue with wearing a bracelet to anyone within the firm.

She had indicated that she was an orthodox Christian on her job application but given no more detail of her religious beliefs than that

The tribunal was told that when festival staff instructed her to wear a band on site she did not raise any objections.

The security guard claims she did not put it on, instead placing it in her pocket which resulted in her being refused access to the site.

She was instructed to get another one it was put onto her wrist by event staff.

Mariana Nijiloveanu told staff that the bracelet was too tight and went to the medical tent where it was removed with scissors. 

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Again, she was told it was a requirement of her job to wear one but she refused and left the site without working her shift.

She raised a grievance with the firm alleging that she was insulted and threatened by the security officer at the entrance to the site for refusing to wear a band.

The grievance states that she could not wear the bracelet but made no reference to this being on religious grounds, simply making a reference to the bracelet being too tight.

A manager met with her to discuss her complaint and it was during this meeting that the claimant, for the first time, is said to have stated that her refusal to wear the bracelet related to her religion.

The tribunal was told that she held the belief that the accepting and wearing of a bracelet was a sign of the devil.

She said she had been taught this as a child by her family, in particular her parents, and had held this belief for all of her life.

She said it was her understanding that this belief "stems from something said in the Bible" but she did not know any more than that.

She said she informed her employer of her religion when she applied for the job and "should not be expected to explain the whole Bible" and claimed she was never asked why she could not wear it.

Ms Nijiloveanu claimed she was a victim of race, sex, religious and direct and indirect discrimination but the case was rejected on all grounds.

Tribunal judge Peter O'Donnell said the primary difficulty for the claimant in all of the claims relating to religion/belief was that the requirement to wear the bracelet was not an act or decision of the respondent but the event organisers.

"It was another person entirely and the respondent had no control over this decision. They cannot, therefore, be liable for any discrimination which might be caused the requirement to wear a bracelet."

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However, the tribunal concluded that her case would have been unsuccessful even if the decision had been taken by her own employer.

Mr O'Donnell writes: "It may well be the case that the claimant’s religion/belief is why she did not want to wear the bracelet but a claim of direct discrimination requires the claimant to show that the act of discrimination was done because she held the belief in question.

"In this case, the clear evidence (which the claimant did not dispute) was that the reason for the need to wear the bracelet was for security purposes and nothing connected to the claimant’s belief."

He said no-one had any knowledge of the claimant’s belief regarding the wearing of bracelets until she raised it in the grievance meeting.