September’s top five Employment Tribunal cases
The Employment Tribunal dismissed a claim for (religious and philosophical belief) discrimination brought against their employer by a vegetarian on the basis that vegetarianism did not amount to a philosophical belief (and therefore could not be a protected characteristic).
The Employment Judge held that the belief in vegetarianism could not be a philosophical belief as it lacked “similar status or cogency to religious beliefs”. The Judge did, however, hold that his view was that veganism could amount to a philosophical belief, and therefore a protected characteristic.
Mr G Conisbee v (1) Crossley Farms Limited & ors (ET/3335357/2018)
The Employment Tribunal awarded a female Claimant £25,000 in compensation after she was subjected to a “lengthy campaign of harassment” by the owner of the business, including lifting her shirt, kissing the side of her head, and trying to hug her over an 18-month period.
The Employment Tribunal also found that the acts of harassment, and discriminatory comments that had been made about her children, amounted to fundamental breaches of contract entitling her to resign and claim constructive dismissal. The Employment Tribunal therefore held that the Claimant had been constructively (and wrongfully) dismissed.
Ms L Shotton v Mark Harris Upholstery Limited (1) Leonard Mark Harris (2) (ET/1401354/2018)
The Employment Tribunal held that an employee of a cheese packaging company who had undergone IVF treatment had been subjected to pregnancy discrimination in being dismissed, as the Tribunal held that dismissal had not been considered for her before she had informed her employer of her pregnancy.
The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant over £21,000 in compensation (including loss of earnings and wages, statutory maternity pay, notice pay, and injury to feelings).
Karavadra v B.J. Cheese Packaging Limited ET/1305782/2018
An Employment Tribunal has awarded a Claimant over £82,000 after finding that she was subjected to “outrageous and discriminatory” comments from her former boss, including referring to her fiance as a “p*ki”, commenting that all “p*kis” are stingy, and abusing her racially in a telephone call.
The Employment Tribunal heard that the Claimant’s boss had been convicted of malicious communication after reporting the call to the police.
The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant £100,877 as compensation for her claims, including sums for financial loss, injury to feelings, aggravated damages, personal injury, and pension loss.
The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant, a white male heterosexual South African, over £52,000 in compensation after it found that he had been subjected to a lengthy campaign of race-related and sexual orientated-related slurs (including “wog”, “kaffir”, “gay c*nt”, and being told to “get back to his Wendy house”).
This case, as the Employment Tribunal remarked, was unusual in that the Claimant is white and is not homosexual.
Hoch v Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Limited (ET/2411086/2018)