Even those of you that aren’t fans of football may have heard the excuse Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gave for drawing to Swansea. He believed his medical staff were impulsive, naïve and did not understand football. The backlash from such an unforgiving and public telling off has been critical. Whilst others have been placing bets on who will Jose blame next? We have been examining how such treatment of staff (who have since been prevented from attending future games) could leave the club vulnerable to litigation.
The first and most obvious one is constructive dismissal. Employees might feel that being publically humiliated and having their role significantly reduced could amount to a demotion. This would likely be seen as a breach of contract and many employees would resign and bring claims.
Demotion is a very harsh sanction and unless there is a contractual right to do so an employer must have the employee’s consent before demoting them. A demotion, without consent, is a breach of contract. Lastly in this instance both medical staff were demoted.
However, the female doctor, Eva Carneiro, received more criticism than male physiotherapist, Jon Fearn. If only one employee was demoted then this could be seen as discriminatory as both employees made the same mistake yet have suffered different sanctions. If Chelsea’s poor form continues you will undoubtedly be reading an article next week about the dangers of sacking the kit man for washing the kit on 30 degree wash.