Updated to include information on Unite the Union v Nailard, in which the EAT considered the union's liability for sexual harassment by two of its elected branch officers against an employee.
In this case about discrimination in the provision of goods and services, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has held that a Christian bakery committed direct sexual orientation discrimination when it refused to fulfil an order for a cake featuring a message in support of same-sex marriage.
In this week's podcast, we discuss sexual orientation discrimination.
In this employment tribunal decision, a manager's detrimental comments about the claimant's sexuality - including a greeting of "hello darling" with a limp wrist gesture - were found to constitute direct discrimination, but not harassment.
The Supreme Court has held that the owners of a bed and breakfast, whose religious beliefs include that sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage are sinful, could not justify their refusal to give civil partners a room with a double bed, in this important discrimination case on the conflict between sexual orientation laws and the right to manifest religious beliefs.
In DLA Piper's case of the week, Black and another v Wilkinson, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a B&B owner's refusal to provide accommodation to a gay couple was discriminatory.
In Bivonas LLP and other v Bennett EAT/0254/11, the EAT held that an employment tribunal was entitled to find that “offensive and insulting” homophobic comments in a written memorandum plainly constituted a detriment to the gay lawyer who was the subject of the comments.
This decision is a reminder to employers and employees that it is possible for a heterosexual employee to be subjected to sexual orientation discrimination, even if the harasser knows that the employee is not gay.
This case is a good example of inappropriate workplace behaviour that is tolerated by employers, but which constitutes unlawful discrimination.
In this case, an employment tribunal found that a gay employee was harassed at a workplace event that he could not opt out of and that lent itself to banter of a sexual nature that could easily offend.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to direct sexual orientation discrimination.