10th June 2013

Employee successful with victimisation claim after 7 tribunal claims

We take a look at the recent case of Woodhouse v West North West Homes Leeds.

Mr Woodhouse is black and over a number of years he lodged ten grievances and brought seven employment tribunal claims against his employer.  Many of these complaints were found to be “empty allegations without any proper evidential basis or grounds for his suspicion”.

Eventually the employer dismissed Mr Woodhouse because of a breakdown in trust and confidence.  Mr Woodhouse claimed victimisation i.e. he was treated unfavourably because he had done a protected act, that being claiming race discrimination. The Employment Tribunal held this was not victimisation because the employer would have dismissed any employee who had acted in the same way.

Mr Woodhouse appealed and the Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with him.  The grievances and tribunal claims were ‘protected acts’.  He was dismissed because he made those protected acts.  There was no suggestion of bad faith which would have prevented the grievances amounting to protected acts.  Since he was dismissed for making protected acts, his victimisation claim succeeded.

This case highlights that an employer cannot dismiss an employee who makes misguided complaints about discrimination.

If you feel your business and managers would be benefit from some training on discrimination, delivered by a specialist employment lawyer, please call Linda Wilson on 01730 268211 at our Petersfield office and she would be happy to discuss your requirements.