Recent Employment Cases in the Media

Posted in : HR Updates on 24 September 2012
Legal-Island
Legal-Island

 

Legal-Island writes:

This article features some of the unusual and often unsavoury employment stories reported online and in the press throughout the world. Here are a few recent ones you may have missed over the summer:

 

 

The manager of a Valleys furniture company hid a camera in order to film women employees going to the toilet, a court has heard. More from the South Wales Argus:
http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/9944412.Valleys_company_manager_hid_camera_in_women_s_toilets/ 

In France, former France Telecom chief, Didier Lombard, faces a probe over wave of suicides at the company, where thirty (30!) members of staff killed themselves during his time at the top of the company. He is accused of advocating management practices so tough they amounted to psychological harassment. Apparently, many of the workers who committed suicide left notes blaming work pressures for their decisions. More from the Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2169260/Former-France-Telecom-chief-faces-probe-wave-suicides-company.html#ixzz1zp0Csa4h 

This is Derbyshire reports that Rolls-Royce spent over £300,000 defending a sex discrimination claim at a 20-day hearing. The firm was awarded the maximum £10k costs:
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/R-R-gets-pound-10-000-pound-300-000-sex-tribunal/story-16669711-detail/story.html 

The Mail Online reports that an Asian postman branded a 'cockroach' by colleagues is awarded £100,000 after being sacked for exposing racism:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2181950/Asian-postman-branded-cockroach-colleagues-wins-100-000-pay-sacked-exposing-sorting-office-racism.html 

Name-calling must be de rigueur in the workplace these days. The Mail also reports that two Flybe pilots sacked after one called the other his 'bitch' in a cockpit bust-up were rightly dismissed:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185333/Two-Flybe-pilots-sacked-called-bitch-cockpit-bust-rightly-dismissed-tribunal-rules.html#ixzz237j4wZqb 

A secondary school teacher has been awarded €75,000 after she was dismissed for complaining about alleged sexual harassment by male pupils. The Equality Officer found that after her probation period had concluded, she was dismissed for making the complaints of sexual harassment and not for her ability to teach. More from the Irish Independent:
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/sex-claim-teacher-gets-75000-award-3233164.html 

A BA steward 'headbutted colleague who said Jews deserved what they got'. More from The Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9403351/BA-steward-headbutted-colleague-who-said-Jews-deserved-what-they-got.html 

The BBC reported that the Irish government has been accused of backing down over its plans to cut allowances for public sector workers. The 1,100 allowances under review included payments for training, taking on extra responsibilities and working unsocial hours. But also on the list were an annual underwear allowance for female soldiers, a weekly plain clothing allowance for Irish police, and a footwear allowance for staff at the Chief State Solicitor's Office.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19648688 

A sales rep who was repeatedly accused by colleagues of being gay just because he was not a football fan has been awarded almost £44,000 for the harassment he suffered. More from The Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2174181/Sales-rep-repeatedly-accused-gay-didn-t-like-football-wins-44-000-payout-harassment.html#ixzz20xSUGodb 

A Council whose former employees’ pension records were found in an over-filled paper recycle bank in a supermarket car park has been fined £250,000 for the data breach. Scottish Borders Council employed an outside company to digitise the records, but failed to seek appropriate guarantees on how the personal data would be kept secure. That prompted the Information Commissioner to use his powers under the Data Protection Act to impose a Civil Monetary Penalty of £250,000 on the Council. More from CIPP:
http://www.cipp.org.uk/en/ippnews/index.cfm/employeedataoutsourcing 

One of Britain’s leading neuropsychologists who was sacked shortly after blowing the whistle on health service cuts was unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has ruled. More from Gulf Times:
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=517923&version=1&template_id=38&parent_id=20 

Norman Lamb, Minister for Employment Relations, has started naming an employer under the BIS Scheme for naming employers who flout National Minimum Wage (NMW) law.
http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Lamb-names-employer-for-flouting-the-National-Minimum-Wage-67f74.aspx 

The Irish High Court has ruled that a Pakistani man was not entitled to a Rights Commissioner award of €92,000 because his employment contract was substantively illegal. More from RTE:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0831/high-court-exploitation.html 

The religious symbols in the workplace cases of Ladele and McFarlane v UK, and Eweida and Chaplin v UK, were heard by the European Court of Human Rights. The ruling is expected later in the year. The Scotsman has a nice summary, as well as a picture of Ms Eveida at the ECHR:
http://www.scotsman.com/news/christians-can-t-demand-to-wear-cross-at-work-european-court-told-1-2506729 

Thief with a conscience now, although a rather sad tale, if the employee's defence is to be believed. The Edinburgh Evening News reports that an accounts executive, who embezzled over £200,000 from her employers, was using some of the cash to repay another company she had stolen tens of thousands of pounds from.
http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/edinburgh/accountant-embezzled-200-000-to-repay-money-she-stole-from-another-company-1-2491619 

Thisisderbyshire.co.uk reports that a pub manager, who failed to properly discipline an employee for uploading to the internet footage of a disabled customer falling outside the pub, has lost her case for unfair dismissal.
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Demoted-pub-boss-loses-dismissal-case-hundreds/story-16760111-detail/story.html 

As legislation is passed in some US states to prevent employers asking for people’s passwords, a Barker Ross survey showed people in the UK are not willing to give potential employers their Facebook passwords.
http://www.responsesource.com/news/73615/a-big-no-to-giving-up-facebook-password-to

This article is correct at 09/11/2015
Disclaimer:

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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