An aspiring flight attendant from Perth, Australia, who was set to begin work at Emirates airlines, had her dreams shattered after she tripped at work one fateful day.
Ciara Burke, 23, who quit her previous job as a nurse after getting the opportunity to join Emirates Aviation College in Dubai, was fired by the airline company just days away from finishing her final assessments at the training college, she said in a social media post.
She claimed in the post that she fell down the stairs of her college and sustained serious injuries. She was wearing the mandated Emirates uniform red high heels at the time of the accident.
The Emirates management, however, refused the accident was work-related and asked her to leave.
"I fell down an entire flight of stairs, severely injuring my back and tearing a ligament in my ankle while at work, and the company covered it up," Burke wrote on social media.
"A few weeks after the accident, Emirates fired me and told me that my accident was NOT classed as a workplace accident but instead a 'freak accident'.
"I wasn't allowed to defend myself or appeal the decision and there are no unions in Dubai that I could turn to for help.
"I was heartbroken and the saddest I have ever been. I was injured, alone and vulnerable."
Burke added that the company made her feel like an offender of sorts by giving her a seven-day notice to pack up and leave Dubai.
"They made me feel like a criminal by taking my passport and IDs off me and I had to hand papers into immigration as I passed through," she wrote.
She said that she was back in Australia. But 10 weeks after the accident, she was still in immense pain and unable to go back to work as a nurse.
"I struggle to sleep most nights because of ongoing back discomfort and am still having troubles with my ankle — some days I can hardly walk because of pain.
"I haven't been able to go back to nursing because I need to be able to wear shoes," her post read.
Emirates reportedly refused to comment on the case when asked to respond by Fairfax Media.
A spokesperson said the company does not comment on past or present employees.
"During the probationary period, there is a dedicated team who assess performance, provide support and guidance and give regular feedback," the spokesperson said, adding that an Emirates panel then reviews the "crew member's performance" before a decision is made.