8 May 2015: Dismissal and Discriminatory Colleagues:
Last week the Court of Appeal held in CLFIS v Dr Mary Reynolds that it was not discriminatory to dismiss an employee after relying upon the reports of colleagues with discriminatory motivation.
Dr Reynolds was aged 73 and was subject to action for alleged underperformance, which she said was because of her age. Dr Reynolds lost her age discrimination claim because the Tribunal held that officer who dismissed her had no discriminatory motivation; it was other colleagues who had complained about her performance who she alleged were discriminatory.
Dr Reynolds appealed arguing that the dismissing officer had relied on a report by colleagues alleged to be motivated by discrimination. Her appeal failed.
The Court of Appeal held that a claim of discrimination against a dismissing officer should be decided by considering the motivation of that person alone. If another person supplied ‘tainted’ information which the disciplinary officer then relied on, the correct approach would be to treat that other person’s conduct as a separate act.
Dr Reynold’s got into trouble because of the drafting of her claim. She could have pleaded in her claim that that the person complaining about her performance to the dismissing officer had himself committed a separate act of discrimination. The case emphasises the problems that Claimants can have in clearly defining the acts of discrimination complained of.
If you would like to speak to a solicitor for advice on unfair dismissal or discrimination claims, please call us on 0207 118 0950 or email us today.