Employment law stories in the news – 06.07.2015 to 12.07.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we examine ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 6 July and 12 July 2015

  1. Sainsbury’s faces equal pay battle with female shop floor workers – Sainsbury’s is facing legal action from four female shopfloor workers who claim they are paid less than men to do equally valuable jobs at the supermarket chain. The case, which will be the subject of a preliminary hearing at a Birmingham employment tribunal on Friday, comes as a similar legal action involving 6,000 female Asda employees remains to be settled (The Guardian)
  2. BGC Sued by Broker Depicted as the Simpsons’ Apu in E-Mail – BGC Partners Inc. was sued by a broker who said his manager sent racist e-mails including one depicting him as a Simpsons character, and favored white employees when allocating work on new products and clients. Ramesh Kumaran, who worked for the brokerage for a decade, said he was made to work in a “humiliating environment” after his manager, Boris Lefebvre, sent an e-mail to colleagues depicting him as Apu from the television cartoon “The Simpsons.” (Bloomberg)
  3. Why are 200 judges suing the UK government? – This is a story choking with irony. Judges are supposed to adjudicate on age, sex and race discrimination, right? Not claim it is happening to them. So, when nearly 200 of Her Majesty’s judges accuse the government of all three forms of discrimination, something is very definitely amiss (BBC)
  4. Diana charity chief set for payout after boss branded her ‘Looney Tunes’ and sent obscene e-mail about her – A director at one of Princess Diana’s favourite charities is set for a payout after she was branded “Looney Tunes” by a boss who also sent a work email referring to a sex act. AB won her religious and race bias claim against Turning Point, a drugs, alcohol and mental health charity, following the hearing at East London employment tribunal (The Evening Standard)
  5. HSBC fires six staff for making fake Islamic State-style execution video – HSBC has fired six staff after they performed a mock Islamic State-style execution video during a team-building day and posted footage online, a bank spokesman said on Tuesday. The bank described the video, showing staff members in balaclavas holding a fake knife over a kneeling man in an orange jumpsuit, as “abhorrent” (The Guardian)
  6. Employment tribunal over compulsory retirement rules in favour of Devon and Cornwall Police – An Employment Tribunal has found that it was legal for Devon and Cornwall Police to consider compulsory retirement for officers as a result of austerity measures. In 2010 the police introduced a compulsory retirement measure –under Regulation A19 of the Police Pension Regulations 1987 — which meant any officer who has completed 30 years’ pensionable service would have to leave (The Torquay Herald Express)
  7. Health board sentenced after patient death – A Scottish health board was today fined £40,000 after a patient died when he was served food by hospital staff despite being deemed ‘nil by mouth’. James South, 51, was admitted to the respiratory unit Raigmore Hospital on 27 December 2013 with several health complaints including anaemia and pneumonia. He remained in hospital on various wards for the next five weeks (HSE)
  8. Mayoral money for nothing – Joe Anderson, full-time elected mayor of Liverpool and former Labour leader of Liverpool City Council, has failed to overturn an employment tribunal finding relating to the termination of his employment with Chesterfield High School. There he had been paid from public funds ‘for which he provided, and was not expected to provide, any service’. The mayoral position apparently attracts an annual allowance of almost £80,000. (The Law Society Gazette)
  9. Council chief’s three payoffs worth £600,000: Penny Thompson left Brighton council last week with a golden handshake worth £269k – A town hall chief has been condemned for receiving over £600,000 in payoffs from three public sector jobs. Penny Thompson left Brighton council last week with a golden handshake worth £269,000 after less than three years in the job (The Daily Mail)
  10. RSA to appeal employment tribunal decision in favour of former Irish CEO – British insurer RSA (RSA.L) said on Monday it would appeal an Irish employment appeals tribunal decision in favour of former Irish chief executive Philip Smith. Smith won a 1.25 million euro (887 thousand pounds) compensation payment last month (Reuters)