Discrimination

Employer undertaking as a reasonable adjustment

Giving an undertaking not to make an employee work with those she claimed had bullied and harassed her, or to offer her a severance package if this wasn’t feasible, was a reasonable adjustment.

Objective justification of discrimination arising from disability

In assessing justification where discrimination arising from disability is concerned, it’s the balance between the employer’s needs and the discriminatory impact on the employee that is relevant, not the process by which the employer settled on the unfavourable treatment.

Homophobic comments in media interview contravened Equal Treatment Directive

A lawyer’s statement in a radio interview that he’d never recruit a homosexual person for his firm was covered by the EU Equal Treatment Directive, even if no recruitment procedure was in existence at the time such a statement was made.

One-off acts and discrimination

For a one-off act to amount to a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ in a discrimination claim, there must be some indication of consistency in how similar cases are generally treated or how they would be treated in the future.

Disability must be established at date of each discriminatory act

In a disability discrimination claim the existence of a disability must be established at the date of each discriminatory act upon which a claimant relies.

Philosophical belief discrimination and transgender issues

A refusal to accept that trans women are women is not a protected ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act.

Ethical veganism and philosophical belief

Ethical veganism’ can be a ‘philosophical belief’ and therefore protected in law.

Dismissal, reinstatement and detriment

Where someone has been dismissed and then subsequently reinstated, this does not prevent them from subsequently bringing a detriment claim under the Equality Act.

Race discrimination: false reason for dismissal shifted burden of proof

Lying about the reason for dismissal and later amending one’s defence to include the true reason is likely to shift the burden of proof in a discrimination case.

Sanctity of copyright was not a protected philosophical belief

An employer did not discriminate when it dismissed an employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement because she held a ‘philosophical belief’ that she should own the rights to her work.

Vegetarianism is not a philosophical belief

Vegetarianism is a ‘lifestyle choice’ and, as such, not a belief which qualifies for protection under the Equality Act.

Constructive knowledge where employee hides disability

An employer did not have constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability where the employee hid her disability and would have continued to hide it on further inquiry.

Sharing offensive image on Facebook was not done 'in the course of employment'

The posting of a racially offensive image via a personal Facebook account was not done ‘in the course of employment’ and was therefore not an action for which the employer could be vicariously liable.

Perceived disability

A police officer, who was turned down for a transfer because her hearing loss was marginally below the medical standard for police recruitment, had suffered direct discrimination because of a perceived disability.

Relying on occupational health reports to determine disability

An employer had not simply ‘rubber-stamped’ an occupational health report where the report dealt with the issue of disability in detail and there was no other evidence on which the employer could rely.

Victimisation and what amounts to a protected act

Continuing with tribunal proceedings is as much a protected act as bringing proceedings in the first place.

Disability discrimination and the side effects of treatment

The Equality Act 2010 excludes an impairment of vision where ‘in the person's case, correctable by spectacles or contact lenses or in such other ways as may be prescribed’. ‘Correctable’ is a practical question which must consider not only whether the impairment was corrected but whether there are unacceptable adverse consequences.

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