Sexual orientation discrimination
In NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI, the European Court of Justice held that a senior lawyer's comments on a radio programme that he would not wish to recruit homosexual people fell within the scope of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) even though his firm was not recruiting, or planning to recruit, at the time.
In Allen v Paradigm Precision Burnley Ltd and another, an employment tribunal found that homophobic comments made by colleagues to to a gay employee amounted to sexual orientation harassment.
In Governing Body of Sutton Oak Church of England Primary School and others v Whittaker, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an employment tribunal failed to identify an appropriate hypothetical comparator when deciding that a gay teacher's dismissal for inappropriate meetings with a pupil constituted sexual orientation discrimination.
In Governing Body of Tywyn Primary School v Aplin, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a headteacher's constructive dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination claims after his school mishandled disciplinary action over his lawful sexual activities with two 17-year-olds he met through Grindr.
In Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd and others, the Supreme Court held that a Christian bakery did not commit direct sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods and services when it refused to fulfil a cake order with a message in support of same-sex marriage.
In Bull and another v Hall and another  UKSC 73 SC, the Supreme Court held that Christian hotel owners directly discriminated against a same-sex couple who were civil partners when they refused them a double-bedded room in accordance with their policy of letting such rooms to married couples only.
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.
David Malamatenios is a partner, and Colin Makin, Krishna Santra, Sandra Martins and Melissa Powys-Rodrigues are solicitors at Colman Coyle Solicitors. They round up the latest rulings.
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.
In this tribunal decision, an employee who suffered workplace abuse successfully claimed sexual orientation and religion or belief harassment, despite being heterosexual and not declaring his religious beliefs.
Employment law cases: HR and legal information and guidance relating to sexual orientation discrimination.
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