Thrings successfully defends company against discrimination claims


Our client’s former employee misconducted herself, initially by breaching internal procedures, for which she received a final written warning, and then by unauthorised absence. She resigned before the conclusion of further disciplinary proceedings, alleging she had been forced to resign. She then filed a claim with the Employment Tribunal, arguing that her alleged conduct was simply a pretext for her constructive dismissal and that the real reason was her sex, race and age, or because she had previously "blown the whistle" on misconduct by a co-worker.

Our involvement

As a long-standing client of Andrew Dekany, partner in Thrings’ Employment and Immigration Team, the client sought Thrings’ advice on how to defend itself against these allegations.

The Employment Team’s immediate priority was to prepare a defence for the company in the limited time available, in response to the detailed claim filed at the Employment Tribunal. This required intensive work and co-operation with the company's management, focusing on the legally relevant issues. Following this, we sourced and organised all documents for use in the case and prepared detailed witness statements for each of the company's witnesses.

We then embarked on a confidential mediation process, which allowed both sides the opportunity to stand back and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the claim and the defence. The mediation was unsuccessful, however, and Thrings went on to successfully defend the company from all the allegations against it over a lengthy employment tribunal hearing.

 The outcome

Our client received a highly-favourable outcome, in which the employee received no compensation, having sought a six-figure sum, and the company's good name was preserved. The latter was particularly significant as, for the company, vindication was just as important as not having to pay any money to the employee.

For further commentary on this case, or to discuss any employment-related issue, please contact a member of Thrings’ Employment and Immigration team.

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