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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work in a supermarket store. I have been treated unfairly

Customer Question

I work in a supermarket store. I have been treated unfairly by my line manager. She pulled me to one side and explained the reason for pulling me which was customer "shopability" meaning the aisle I was working on was too busy. There was another male heterosexual employee who is working on the same aisle and there was two cages blocking the aisle(not mine). She(line manager) did spoke to me but didn't speak to the other colleague. I have been treated unfairly which I believe is border on discrimination. There were guys in my department who were treated favourably in my opinion and I felt this was with an intentional discrimination with malice and reckless indifference with regards XXXXX XXXXX sexual orientation being a homosexual. The male heterosexual colleague of mine heard the explanation of my line manager which was basically the other manager who complained originally about "shopability" of the store was the one who pinpointed me and singled me out. I said to my line manager that I will personally spoke to her because I really want to know the reason for me being pinpointed.

My line manager later explained, after filing a complaint about this incidence to another manager of the store, that the other manager did not single me out.

A) Is there a case for discrimination here as my line manager did not handle it properly and recklessly?
B) I am very upset, if I file formally in writing(which is necessary according to the other managers), am I legally allowed to file an off sick leave until the investigation finishes?
C) Is there a reason for me pursuing this matter outside of the employers grieviance procedure if the defendant get dismissed? It is a very humiliating experience and quite frankly I was shaking during the time as I felt very discriminated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer :

I worked there since 2007. For my current department that I am working now, I have just moved to that position last June 2013.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. To answer your queries:

A) Is there a case for discrimination here as my line manager did not handle it properly and recklessly?

This will only be the case if the actual reason for your treatment was due to you sexual orientation. There is of course a possibility that this had nothing to do with the way you ere treated so you must be able to show that a heterosexual person would have been treated more favourably than you in the circumstances and that there was no other justifiable reason for the treatment you were subjected to. So if the employer cannot justify this then discrimination may indeed be an issue.

B) I am very upset, if I file formally in writing (which is necessary according to the other managers), am I legally allowed to file an off sick leave until the investigation finishes?

If you have genuine reasons to be off sick, such as stress, then yes you may get signed off by following your employer’s sickness absence procedure.

C) Is there a reason for me pursuing this matter outside of the employers grieviance procedure if the defendant get dismissed? It is a very humiliating experience and quite frankly I was shaking during the time as I felt very discriminated.

Well our only options are:

  • A claim for discrimination against the employer or the person guilty of the discrimination
  • Resignation and a claim for constructive dismissal against the employer.

Both can be risky in a sense that you need to pay around £1,000 in fees to take these to a hearing so you could pay the money, then lose the claim and as a result lose that money. So whilst it is an option, think carefully about the risks.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

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