A decision has been made by the Court of Appeal that reinforces the challenge of perception and intent with respect to comments (or actions) made by employees, and how an employer can be held accountable for an employee’s comments.
A recent CA ruling found that discussing an employee’s sexuality without “ill intent” was not discrimination. However, in the case of Grant v HM Land Registry heard by CA in 2010, a total of 6 occasions of alleged sexuality discrimination were laid bare.
The alleged discriminatory acts, including a comment made by Grant’s line manager (also an employee of Land Registry) to another female worker “Don’t go fluttering your eyelashes at him, he’s gay”. The CA noted the Land Registry were responsibility for this line manager’s actions and found this comment was held to be discrimination because it revealed the fact that the Claimant was gay.
If as you read this you have some worries about the custom and practice ‘banter’ at your place of work, and whether you might find yourself as employer held accountable for a reckless comment by one of your employees, we strongly suggest you call us. Discrimination claims are still uncapped! Ring now on 0845 463 3231, or email and we’ll call you.