Age discrimination pay out, due to “mocking”

An employee has won a £15,000 age discrimination payout after a tribunal heard that she was repeatedly ‘mocked over her age’. Apparently, younger colleagues made fun of the employee’s age and apparent deafness (which they attributed to her age).

The employee was so embarrassed and upset about the mocking she arranged for a hearing aid to be fitted. But this did not stop the negative remarks.

It was also heard that she was ‘mocked’ for not being able to remember things and having to turn to a colleague, yet ‘staff did not mock each other when they forgot things or misheard something’. The tribunal heard that this was related to her age.

The pharmacy counter assistant complained to the owner of the business about the attitudes of some younger colleagues towards her, she was told to ‘let it go over her head’ and the owner did not take her grievance seriously.

The employee also suffered from arthritis and after a fall at work she sustained a back injury. She called in sick and was dismissed the following week.

The employer alleged that the counter assistant had been let go due to poor performance, but the employment tribunal concluded that she had been the victim of both age and disability discrimination and she was awarded £15,649.13 by the tribunal which included £13,000 for injury to feelings.

This case highlights the need for employers to train all employees to understand what constitutes discriminatory behaviour in the workplace.

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