Discrimination

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.

Knowledge of disability and date of acquisition

Knowledge of an employee’s disability could have been acquired during an appeal against dismissal.

Sexual orientation and constructive dismissal

The adverse treatment of a gay head teacher amounted to constructive dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.

Email to inaccessible work address during maternity leave could be unfavourable treatment

Sending an important letter about redundancies to a woman on maternity leave to a work email account which she could not access could be unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act. But whether it was also maternity discrimination depends upon the reasons why that treatment occurred.

What is 'long term' for disability purposes?

EAT clarifies how to interpret ‘long term’ for the purpose of the definition of disability.

Dismissal for 'cohabitation outside marriage' was not religious discrimination

The dismissal of a teacher at an ultra-orthodox Jewish nursery who refused to lie about living with her boyfriend was not discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

Equal pay and comparability of pay terms

For the purposes of equal pay law, two distinct parts of a workforce (here female shop floor workers and higher-paid male distribution centre workers) can compare their pay, even if they are located at different sites, in different parts of the organisation/group, and with very different pay arrangements/management structures.

Disability discrimination and ill-health retirement

A disabled employee who had reduced his hours from full time to part time before taking ill-health retirement had not been treated ‘unfavourably’ when an element of his pension benefits was calculated by reference to his part-time salary at the date of retirement.

Equal pay: 'stable working relationship' not necessarily broken by promotion

A promotion or change in role within the same organisation will not necessarily amount to a ‘radical’, ‘fundamental’ or ‘significant’ change so as to break a ‘stable working relationship’ for the purposes of calculating time limits for an equal pay claim.

Part-time workers, less favourable treatment and justification

The requirement for a part-time worker to be available for work on proportionately more days than a full-time worker was less favourable treatment. In deciding whether such treatment is legally justified, tribunals should consider statistical evidence.

Bakers did not discriminate against gay man

A bakery did not discriminate against a gay man on the grounds of his sexual orientation or political belief when it refused to supply a cake with a message on it supporting gay marriage.

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