Saturday, 19 July 2008
ECJ Establishes Right to Claim Discrimination by Association
Reported via Labourstart this morning is a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the Coleman case.
I've taken the text below direcctly from the news article just to save time - thank you LabourStart.
Ms Coleman who worked as a legal secretary in London resigned from the Attridge Law partnership and claimed constructive unfair dismissal.
She justified this with allegations against her employer that included an unsupportive and discriminatory attitude with regard to Ms Coleman's needing to care for her disabled child, a comment by a partner that her "fucking child was always fucking sick", and that her requests for time off were treated differently from other colleagues with medical problems.
The ruling by the European Court of Justice followed a legal opinion of its advocate general establishing that disability discrimination is illegal not just when directed at disabled people but also when applied to people who care for them.
The judgement of the ECJ will need to be interpreted into UK law. The ECJ signalled that this principle should be extended to all carers.
If the government interprets the ruling literally then employment protection will only be extended to parents of disabled children.
The article ends with a query however, as to whether the government will interpret the ruling broadly enough to enable claims at the Employment Tribunal.