Woman makes disability discrimination Employment Tribunal claim against BT

MoJA woman has made a claim for discrimination against BT in the employment tribunal after she lost her job earlier this year.

Jane Noble brought her claim for disability discrimination against the company earlier this year after she claimed that British Telecom had failed to make reasonable adjustments to her position to compensate for her disability and that she had been subjected to a discriminatory dismissal.

Mrs Noble, who was disfigured and almost lost the sight in one of her eyes after ammonia was thrown into her eyes, started working for BT in a position which involved her having to drive a vehicle. However, she claimed that after she started working for the company she was told by an occupational health ¬†therapist an an ophthalmic surgeon that although she was fit to drive “per se”, she could not drive as much as her BT role required. She was subsequently dismissed by BT for misconduct, with the company claiming that she had failed to act in the company’s best interests and accused her of breaching the company’s security policy regarding the use of emails. Mrs Noble subsequently made an employment tribunal claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, alleging that her dismissal had been discriminatory.

The claim came to the employment tribunal earlier this month, with Mrs Noble telling the employment tribunal that BT had failed to make alterations to her position and that the company had also refused to fund special lenses which could have allowed her to carry out her job properly.

BT opposes Mrs Noble’s claims and has rejected all of the allegations made.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must make efforts to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, and must not dismiss employees purely because they are disabled. A failure to exercise a fair procedure in dismissing disabled employees could lead to a claim for disability discrimination in the employment tribunal.”