Lesbian employee dismissal was discrimination

A lesbian employee who was told by her boss to keep her sexuality hidden was the victim of discrimination, a tribunal has ruled.

The quality control manager was told not to share her sexuality because she was the only gay employee.  She disclosed her sexuality to her employer in her first week of employment and was repeatedly asked “not to make it common knowledge that she was gay because the owner of the business was ‘old school’ and that the company did not have any other gay people in it.

The employee worked for eight months until she was made redundant. In the tribunal the employee’s manager denied that she had disclosed her sexuality early on in her employment or that he told her she should not tell anyone.  However, the tribunal found in favour of the employee’s versions of eventsand that she had been “discriminated against on the grounds of her sexual orientation” because she had been “less favourably treated by being asked not to disclose her sexuality by comparison with a hypothetical person not sharing her protected characteristic”. The award has yet to be determined.

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