Whether it be deaf snipers winning discrimination claims, or, trying to claim simulating a sex act on a banana during a public interview isn’t gross misconduct, every month an employment law issue manages to stumble into the path of a tabloid journalist.
This month sees an older employee winning his age discrimination claim. The Claimant, Mr Dove, was a jewellery salesman and was 61 at the time of his dismissal. No other member of the Respondent was over fifty and Mr Dove’s manager was in his thirties.
The Claimant was called Gramps by colleagues due to his age, despite the fact he didn’t have any grandchildren! However, other members of staff also had nicknames, including the manager, who was referred to as ‘gimp boy’.
Mr Dove was then dismissed because he was too long in the tooth and old fashioned for some of the Respondent’s clients. He was awarded £63k by the tribunal, including £9k for injury to feeling.
This highlights the importance of monitoring work place nicknames, even in workplaces where nicknames are common, and, even if they are believed to be affectionate, they can still amount to discrimination. I won’t tell you what mine is!