“The Team is brilliant; very hard working and very dedicated. They have a real understanding of the human aspect of employment law and are very supportive of the individual”
Chambers UK 2020
Discrimination is where you are treated less favourably or are subjected to a hostile or intimidating work environment, because of or related to, a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics include sex, race, disability, pregnancy and maternity, age, sexual orientation, religious belief and marital status and we have extensive experience acting for individuals in relation to the full range of protected characteristics.
Some discrimination is overt and easy to define – you know it when you see it. However, most discrimination is covert or subconscious, meaning that it can be difficult to identify or describe, and therefore harder to raise with your employer who may not always be supportive.
We understand the strain of being a victim of discrimination at work and that this can have a corrosive impact on your confidence. We will listen to you to understand your workplace and work dynamic to help you articulate the discrimination you are suffering from and put together the most effective legal narrative in a manner most likely to get results.
Many clients are nervous of raising complaints about discrimination at work because they are not confident that their employer will deal with them appropriately and/or because they are fearful of retaliation. However, the Equality Act protects employees from being treated less favourably because they have raised a complaint about discrimination and so doing so at the right time and in the right way, should offer you more protection, not less.
If you are concerned that you are being discriminated against at work, please do get in touch for an initial call to get a feel for how we may work together to achieve an outcome that works for you. We are experts in this field and we are here to help.
Examples of our work:
- Acting for the head of international client relations of an asset management business in claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Our client was made redundant whilst on maternity leave following the very premature birth of her baby. We were successful in securing a six figure early settlement without the need for issue of proceedings.
- Acting for a crude oil broker for a global energy and commodities trader in claims for sex discrimination and victimisation. Our client was dismissed following a lengthy grievance process in which they raised allegations of conscious and subconscious sex discrimination spanning over a number of years, including in relation to bonus and share awards. We were successful in securing an eight figure settlement.
- Acting for the head of oil and gas for an investment bank in claims of race discrimination and victimisation. Our client was also disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 and we advised to ensure that reasonable adjustments were made to the conduct of the complex and lengthy grievance process to enable our client to participate fully and minimise the further impact of the process on their health. A six figure settlement was achieved.
- Acting for a trader and head of desk at an international investment bank in claims for age and disability discrimination. Following an episode at work related to disability, our client was put at risk of redundancy. Advised by us ‘behind the scenes’ he disputed that his role was redundant and raised a grievance asserting age and disability discrimination. This prolonged his employment by a number of months during which period he was not required to work but received full pay. Ultimately, a six figure settlement was achieved enabling our client to start in a new role on higher pay elsewhere.
- Acting for a human capital director for emerging markets private equity firm in claims for disability and sex discrimination. Our client had been subjected to a campaign of bullying and sexual harassment by her line manager which had had a negative impact on her health causing her to have panic attacks and require a period of sickness absence. She had then been subjected to unfair performance criticisms. We advised in relation to her grievance and her employment ultimately terminated under agreed severance terms, including a six figure termination payment.
- Acting for the branch manager of household name retail bank in claims for institutional race discrimination, disability discrimination and victimisation. Our client was a high performing branch manager who had been subjected to harassment on the grounds of race, and direct race discrimination (in terms of promotion and pay) for a number of years. He had been subjected to spurious disciplinary allegations in response to raising his concerns and his health had been badly affected by the campaign of abuse he had suffered. The bank then sought to make him redundant. Proceedings were issued but a substantial six figure settlement equivalent to approx. 6 years’ pay was achieved at a relatively early stage.
- Acting for a banking lawyer from a top tier US law firm in claims for maternity and sex Discrimination. Our client had been pressured to agree to take a ‘career freeze’ following her maternity leave. Successfully negotiated a substantial six figure settlement.
- Acting for a marketing director of a private equity firm. Our client had been sexually assaulted at dinner by the founder/owner of the Firm. We successfully negotiated favourable exit arrangements and a substantial six figure termination payment over an extremely short period of time to achieve a swift resolution to a highly inflammatory and serious incident.
- Businesses – Overview
- Restrictive Covenants, Confidential Information and Team Moves
- Misconduct, Poor Performance and Grievances
- Capability Dismissals and Disability Discrimination
- Restructures, Re-organisations, Acquisitions and Sales
- Partnership Disputes and LLPs
- Wider Employment Issues
Our ‘Proving Discrimination at Work’ series
This series is designed by Employment Partner Emma Sangeelee and Associate George Orman to support Senior Executives who believe they are being discriminated against at work. Subscribe to our blog list to receive our future legal updates to your mailbox.