A round up of notable employment law cases of 2022
Warning: The following cases are not reported for their legal significance but because they make that tricky HR issue you have been dealing with seem pale in comparison!
Employee sacked for being “boring” awarded compensation
In a recent case, a French court awarded an employee compensation after he successfully argued that he had been sacked by his employer for not participating in its after-work drinks and team building activities. The employee argued he had a “right to be boring” and the French court agreed. It held that he shouldn’t have been punished for refusing to take part in seminars and end of week drinks that involved the excessive alcohol intake and highly inappropriate drink fuelled rituals.
Long-serving employee wins age discrimination case after “Pontius Pilate” remark
Mr Finch, a 66-year-old, long serving employee, won his age discrimination case against his employer, Clegg Gifford & Co in September 2022, after the Managing Director told him he had been around ‘as long as Pontius Pilate‘ – a comparison he found humiliating and offensive. He also alleged that the Managing Director had suggested to him that, because of his multiple health conditions, he might want to bring forward a planned holiday as otherwise the Covid pandemic might prove fatal for him – a comment he said he found hurtful.
“Don’t let the hormones get out of control” – female employee wins discrimination case
In August 2022, finance executive Louise McCabe, who was aged 55, won her case of age discrimination against a tech start-up business called Selazar, after being told by the company’s 29- year old CEO during a heated exchange: “Calm down.. don’t let the hormones get out of control”. The Tribunal concluded that the CEO regarded Ms McCabe as a “menopausal woman” and that he would not have made the same comment to a younger person.
Tribunal rules that calling a male employee a bald *very rude word* was sex harassment
In April 2022, Mr Finn, an electrician employed by The British Bung Manufacturing Company, claimed in an employment tribunal that he had been subjected to harassment related to sex because he had been called a ‘bald ****’ by a colleague during a confrontation. The Tribunal upheld Mr Finn’s claim. The Tribunal held that the conduct was unwanted and noted that, whilst some women suffer from baldness, it was much more prevalent in men and therefore Mr Finn had been subjected to harassment related to his sex.
Support of a football club is not equivalent to a religion or philisophical belief
Although many football fans may passionately disagree with this ruling, a Tribunal in Glasgow held that Mr McClung, a sub-contractor and a life-long supporter of Rangers FC, was not protected under discrimination laws, despite claiming his allegiance to the team was akin to a religion or belief. Mr McClung alleged that he wasn’t offered work by construction firm, Doosan Babcock and recruitment agency NRL, because he was an avid Rangers FC fan – a dedication which he said was like a “belief” to him. The Tribunal disagreed, however, and said that his love of his team was a “lifestyle choice” and did not meet the tests necessary to qualify as a true philosophical belief.