Discrimination & harassment



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If you have suffered discrimination, victimisation, or harassment arising from gender, sexuality, gender re-assignment, pregnancy or parental leave-related discrimination - whether in the work place or elsewhere - Farore Law can advise you. In exceptional cases we acts for clients involved in age or race discrimination disputes. 

We advise clients who  may have been discriminated against by their employers/principals, prospective employers, by partners within their partnerships (or within LLPs), by their regulatory bodies, by academic institutions, by public service providers, trade organisations, training/qualifications bodies, in relation to personal office and public appointments, and where there is discrimination by barristers' chambers, local authorities and other public bodies.  Suzanne McKie QC advises barristers' chambers on advancing its diversity and managing any gender pay gap.

Farore Law brings over 25 years’ experience of handling cases involving these particular areas of law, from the initial investigation/internal grievance through all stages of the litigation process, both in tribunals and the High Court, cases involving employment and those which do not. We will also advise you on whether you have a personal injury claim arising from the treatment you have suffered.

Sex discrimination and sexual harassment are still prevalent. Some sections of society continue to blame those who suffer the ill-treatment, accusing them of over-reacting, of under-reacting, of acting too much like a victim, of acting not enough like a victim, of complaining, of not complaining, of not being sufficiently robust, of being too assertive, of being humourless, of lacking confidence to fight for their promotion, or of having a self-deluded and exaggerated belief in themselves. And yet the fault lies elsewhere. We seek to find resolutions and outcomes for clients that reflect this fact. Farore Law advises in cases involving sexuality discrimination and gender re-assignment.

See the latest EHRC report (2018) into "antiquated" attitudes to pregnant workers and women with children: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/employers-dark-ages-over-recruitment-pregnant-women-and-new-mothers

In 2016 Glass Door Economic Research undertook a study of the 18 European countries and the USA. It focused on the gender gap in work by reference to educational attainment; the gender pay gap; representation of women in management, on boards and amongst senior officials; male to female ratios in professional positions and the impact of motherhood on pay.  Great Britain was ranked eleventh out of 18 countries, behind Estonia, France, Portugal, USA and others. Inequality continues to be a problem both within and outside the workplace in the UK. The biases and (in some cases) misogyny can and do exist in all works of life. The Fawcett Society and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provide many helpful statistics on the remaining inequalities. 

Sex discrimination occurs when you are treated less favourably than another who is not of your gender. Indirect sex discrimination occurs when (in circumstances which cannot be justified) a provision, criterion or practice is applied to you and which places those of your gender at a particular disadvantage compared to those who are not. An example, it may be indirect sex discrimination to demand that someone works unsocial hours, works full-time or without flexibility. Part-time workers should not suffer detriment for working part-time, and Farore Law can advise on this too. ONS statistics for October 2017 show that whilst 6.239 million women work part-time in the UK, only 2.245 million men do. 

Sex discrimination is insidious; our lives are busy and we do not always understand or see the causes of our poor treatment. Through discussion we can help you work through this and determine what the motivations, direct or indirect, might be. Sex discrimination can be oblique and difficult to see, but often lies in deep-seated beliefs that those in a position of power may, even in modern society, find difficult to abandon. At times it can manifest itself as an overreaction to the impact of maternity leave, a misunderstanding (or unwillingness to understand) who bears the burden of child care needs. It may be the unfair belief that a woman's ambition is thwarted or diminished by having children. Sometimes it's as simple as those with the power to use, manage or recruit want to work with those most like themselves, which has an adverse impact on diversity. Businesses who want a "heavyweight" service provider or senior manager may see this in male form. Image is also relevant - for example, being overweight as a woman is never taken as an indication of gravitas. Sadly, it is not only men who may discriminate against women, women sometimes do too - as such you should not assume that because a member of your own sex makes the adverse decision that the decision was not tainted by sex discrimination. 

Sex or sexual harassment is defined by the Equality Act 2010  - harassment because of gender is defined as unwanted conduct related to gender and which has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Where it is said to have this purpose the motivation of the perpetrator is relevant; where it is said to have this effect then the perspective of the victim is the most important consideration. Sexual harassment occurs when the perpetrator engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature and has the purpose or effect outlined above. One act, if sufficiently serious, can be enough to amount to a beach of the Equality Act and so give rise to a legal claim. If you have suffered harassment arising from gender re-assignment and sexuality Farore Law will also be able to advise you.

Victimisation is outlawed under the Equality Act. If a person suffers detriment/poor treatment because he or she has complained of discrimination or given evidence or information in connection with a complaint by another then this can give rise to a cause of action. The law is there to protect those that speak out and those speak out on their behalf. Victimisation does occur more frequently than might be expected - those people who might not discriminate against you may however, react badly when you accuse them or their organisations of it.

An action for an injunction in the county court or high court to prevent dismissal in certain circumstances, and/or to prevent further harassment is an option on which Farore Law will advise. We will also advise you on whether your claim can and should be settled in advance of any litigation, or if any claim should be brought in an employment tribunal, the civil courts, and whether any treatment you have suffered arising from discrimination, harassment or assault gives rise to a personal injury claim. We also assist in and advise on any internal investigation process. 

Farore Law pays particular attention to privacy and discretion and will discuss with you appropriate solutions that do not involve litigation where the client would prefer the matter dealt with in the strictest confidence and not in a public court.


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