Employment law stories in the news – 18.08.2014 to 24.08.2014

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, this week we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made the news between 18 and 24 August 2014.

  1. Selkirk company fined £100,000 for death of an employee – A Selkirkshire based company has been found guilty today at Jedburgh Sheriff Court of failing to ensure the health and safety of an employee when they died after becoming trapped between a partition door and a support frame within their Winston Road premises (HSE)
  2. Police officers investigated for social media breaches – Hundreds of police officers have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines, research has revealed. Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association found officers made racist comments online and asked crime victims to become Facebook friends (BBC)
  3. Financial support for grandparents who look after children – Hundreds of thousands of grandparents who look after their grandchildren could be given parental rights to paid leave and greater financial support, David Cameron has said (The Telegraph)
  4. New mothers facing ‘maternity discrimination’ on their return to the workplace – One in 10 women in low-paid work is demoted when she returns from maternity leave, according to research that reveals the scale of discrimination against new mothers and the difficulty of challenging it (The Independent)
  5. Clydes settles whistleblowing dispute – Global firm Clyde & Co has settled a long-running whistleblowing dispute with former partner Krista Bates van Winkelhof weeks before an employment tribunal was set to hear her claims for alleged unfair dismissal and sex discrimination (The Law Society Gazette)
  6. ‘Bullying’ senior MoJ lawyer loses injunction fight – A deputy master at the Court of Appeal has failed to secure an injunction against the Ministry of Justice to prevent a disciplinary hearing being held against him. Robert Hendy, employed by the MoJ as a lawyer since 2002, was suspended in December 2011 after allegations by two solicitor colleagues of bullying and undermining of other members of staff (The Law Society Gazette)
  7. Big Brother professor ‘sacked unfairly’ – A former psychologist for TV show Big Brother was sacked unfairly by the University of Manchester, an employment tribunal has ruled. Professor Geoff Beattie was sacked for not disclosing the full extent of his media and broadcasting work (BBC)
  8. Canal worker sacked over ‘private banter’ on Facebook – A canal worker is suing the national waterways body for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for posting comments on social media claiming he was drinking while on standby for flood alert. David Smith claimed the comments were “banter” and a “joke” and thought his remarks were private. But he was dismissed when bosses at Scottish Canals took the view that he had been consuming alcohol (Herald Scotland)
  9. Lesbian teacher who was fired for becoming pregnant sues Catholic school for discrimination – A former Montana Catholic school teacher who was fired for being pregnant and unmarried is suing the school district. Shaela Evenson, who gave birth to a boy in March, filed the lawsuit Thursday alleging the firing violated federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, the Montana Standard reported (The Mail Online)
  10. New employment tribunal fees regime under fire – The employment tribunal fee system has now been operating in the UK for over a year. Under the new regime, employees have to pay an upfront fee to raise a claim and they must pay a further “hearing fee” once the case is referred to a tribunal (The Scotsman)