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£174,000 compensation for sexual orientation harassment and discrimination

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In Allen v Paradigm Precision Burnley Limited an ET upheld ‘A’’s claim of sexual orientation harassment and direct discrimination (and claims victimisation and constructive unfair dismissal) which occurred after ‘A’ started to come out as being gay to select people in his team. The harassment related to sexual orientation consisted of ‘A’ being told that he was “camp” and being subjected to limp wristed hand gestures directed towards him on a number of occasions; being sent an email depicting two stereotypical gay characters with comments directed at him; having a copy of a passport photograph of himself with “I love” handwritten underneath it, being left in the workplace for him to see; and being asked what his favourite “type” of man was at a work’s event. ‘A’ was directly discriminated against when he was rejected for the posts of Operations Director and then as a candidate for the position of General Manager because of sexual orientation. The ET awarded ‘A’ £174,645 compensation which included £26,000 for injury to feelings.

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