Homophobic bullying resulted in huge pay out

A waiter and his husband who were “bullied for months on end” because of their sexual orientation by their colleagues and boss were discriminated against, a tribunal has ruled.

The tribunal ruled there was “more than enough evidence” to suggest the director’s actions were motivated by homophobia and that “it would be perverse to find otherwise”. It found that the employees experienced inappropriate behaviour because of their sexual orientation, which had the “purpose of violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them”.

In one incident, one of the claimants had been setting up the restaurant for the evening shift and running a cleaning cycle on the coffee maker when a director, called the employee, referring to him as a “waitress”. The tribunal l heard that when the employee complained about the manner he was addressed, a friend of the director responded “Oh your waitress is very rude”.

The tribunal was told that after working there for a few months, the claimants began to experience harassment and were frequently harassed about their sexual orientation, being called “faggot” and other homophobic slurs.

The employee suffered panic attacks that caused him to take unpaid sick leave, and the directors had made it apparent they planned to fire him, and that they were all plotting to incite physical violence and remove him from the company. Both employees resigned and the tribunal judge subsequently found that there was “a sustained campaign that was motivated by homophobic behaviour”.

The tribunal concluded that both employees suffered less favourable treatment in comparison to their named comparators and established that they suffered from unwanted conduct as a result of their sexual orientation, which had the purpose of violating their dignity or creating an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them”.

The employees received compensation of £41,732 and £83,102 respectively.

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