Employment law stories in the news – 09.03.2020 to 15.03.2020

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 9 March 2020 and 15 March 2020

  1. White police official sues Priti Patel for alleged race bias – A senior police official is suing the home secretary over claims that he has suffered discrimination because he is white (The Times)
  2. Married civil servant told trainee she had ‘magnificent’ nipples and then sued for sexism when given final warning – A cheeky senior civil servant told a colleague she had “magnificent nipples” – and then tried to sue for sex discrimination. The married boss – in his 50s – made the crude remark to a young trainee at a work bash (The Sun)
  3. Judge strikes out race claims from firm’s ‘vexatious’ ex-employee – A former worker with national firm Shoosmiths – who left the firm in 2016 – has had various discrimination claims thrown out by an employment tribunal (The Law Society Gazette)
  4. Administrator ‘misled’ into negotiation process was unfairly dismissed, tribunal rules – A cleaning company has been ordered to pay a former administrator almost £13,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal. The Cardiff Employment Tribunal ruled the redundancy process carried out by DB Cleaners and Launderers in respect of its employee, Mrs S Sparks, was substantively and procedurally unfair, as it “intended to avoid statutory redundancy payments” (People Management)
  5. NHS to pay £870,000 to whistleblower doctor who spoke out on patient safety – A London NHS trust has been ordered to pay a leading heart doctor more than £870,000 after he was sacked for whistleblowing about safety concerns following a patient’s death (The Evening Standard)
  6. Sergeant victimised police officer who made bullying claim – A female former police officer turned whistleblower has partly won her sex discrimination claim against Police Scotland after a five-year legal battle. An employment tribunal ruled that Karen Harper was victimised by her boss Sergeant Doug Bell because she lodged a bullying complaint against him (STV)
  7. Builders were not self-employed, rules employment tribunal – An employment tribunal has found that two contractors working in construction who had signed self-employed contracts were in fact employees and should be afforded the benefits enjoyed by all employed staff (Personnel Today)
  8. Employment tribunal hands down damning verdict on Derbyshire sexual harassment at work case – The Employment Tribunal has handed down a damning judgment against Highways England following a successful claim for sexual harassment, direct discrimination and discriminatory dismissal brought by Derbyshire woman Kim Beaney (The Business Desk)
  9. DWP says it is ‘shocked’ by its own disability tribunal record – The Department for Work and Pensions has lost more employment tribunals for disability discrimination than any other employer in Britain since 2016. BBC Panorama found the DWP lost 17 of 134 claims of discrimination against its own disabled workers from 2016-19 (BBC)
  10. Prison guard who used inmates’ PlayStation gets £19,000 payout for unfair dismissal – A prison guard caught ‘borrowing’ a games console intended for inmates’ families has won a payout after a tribunal found he had been unfairly dismissed (Metro)