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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

Disability Discrimination Case Summaries

4.001 COMPENSATION AWARD Increased workload Case Burke v Clinton Cards plc & Walker (2012) Eq Opp Rev 32:221 Facts Mrs B was employed by CC as an area sales manager. She was diagnosed as suffering from breast cancer. Her employers made adjustments by reducing the number of stores for which she was responsible. W took over as a new regional manager. He increased Mrs B’s workload and criticised her performance. He did not take account of the effect of her medical treatment on her work. Mrs B resigned and complained of constructive dismissal and disability discrimination. The complaints were upheld. Compensation award: Actual loss of earnings: £24,838. Future loss of earnings: three years: £42,371. Note: the tribunal would have favourably considered a claim for career-long loss of earnings, but this had not been included in the schedule of loss. Pension loss: £6,698. Loss of company car: £10,134. Injury to feelings: £14,000: cumulatively caused distress: upper end of middle Vento band.

4.002 DIRECT DISCRIMINATION Non-disabled person compared Case JP Morgan Europe Ltd v Chweidan [2011] IRLR 673, CA Facts C was employed by JPM as an executive director. In 2007 he suffered a serious back injury. He returned to work for restricted hours. C complained that his 2007 bonus had been reduced because of his disability. He was dismissed for redundancy and complained that his selection for redundancy had been because of his disability. The employment tribunal found that he had been unfairly dismissed and subjected to direct disability discrimination. JPM appealed to the EAT and then to the Court of Appeal. Decision 1. The tribunal’s decision in relation to direct discrimination could not stand. A non-disabled person would similarly have been dismissed

4.003 DISABILITY Associative amnesia Case Sobhi v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2013) Eq Opp Rev 239:25, EAT Facts S was a police community support officer. She applied to become a police officer. Her fingerprints were taken and this revealed that she had been convicted of theft in 1991 and had been given a conditional discharge. Her application was refused and she was given a disciplinary reprimand for failing to disclose a previous conviction. In 2009 she applied again to become a police officer and disclosed her conviction. Her application was again refused because of the reprimand. S complained of disability discrimination. She suffered from dissociative amnesia. The ET found that her loss of memory only affected her application to become a police officer and that her condition had not adversely affected her normal day-to-day activities. S appealed to the EAT. Decision The appeal succeeded. Although her condition had only affected her when applying for a post, that was to be treated as a normal day-to-day activity because it limited her participation in professional life.

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