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Fair Employment Tribunal finds employee was victimised and harassed

The Fair Employment Tribunal has found that a woman, who worked for a Belfast-based bathroom supplier, was discriminated against, harassed and victimised on the grounds of her religious belief or political opinion and constructively unfairly dismissed.


Ms Scott worked for Stevenson & Reid Ltd from August 2011 to August 2015.  She was the only Catholic employee working at the company’s East Belfast showroom.  There was an incident on 31st July 2015 when her line manager, who was a director of the company, shouted and swore at her in front of her colleagues and, as part of the outburst, shouted ‘Tiocfaidh ar lá’ into her face.  The tribunal found that the phrase ‘has a clear sectarian significance’.  It said


‘This can only be a threat and is somewhat menacing given that the claimant was the only Catholic in the workplace.’


After the incident Ms Scott went on sick leave but was subsequently dismissed despite medical records being sent to the company.  The tribunal found that the treatment Ms Scott received while on sick leave amounted to victimisation. 


Ms Scott received £20,736 in compensation.  Her case was supported by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).


Read ECNI’s commentary here.  An article by BBC News can be read here.

Employment Law, Local Developments