Marie Macdonald, Head of our Employment Law Team, has won a high profile victory for the widow of a motor neurone sufferer who died before his case was heard by the Employment Tribunal.
Cases where the Claimant is not able to give evidence at the hearing are unusual. Despite this, using documents Mr Allan had prepared for the case before he died, together with evidence from is widow and other witnesses, the Employment Tribunal Judge upheld his claims of disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal in full.
The case centred around Mr Allan’s employers refusal and failure to install suitable toilet facilities to enable him to get back to work after his diagnosis with motor neurone disease and after he was confined to a wheelchair.
Marie Macdonald commented “I am delighted with the Employment Tribunal’s decision which underlines that employers must comply with their duties under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments. In this case, the employer failed to make a simple, inexpensive adjustment by installing a suitable toilet over a period of some months. The employer was also found to have directly discriminated against Mr Allan and to have discriminated against him arising from his disability. In addition, the employers constructively unfairly dismissed Mr Allan. Ultimately, the financial penalty for employers who fail to comply with the law is the imposition of an award from the Employment Tribunal that can be far more expensive than complying with the law in the first place."
"When other lawyers told me there was no case to answer to Marie Macdonald took the case on. As my husband is no longer with us, sadly he passed away April 2014, Motor Neurons Disease, this case was unique as he wasn’t able to represent himself.
Marie was honest with me from the start. It was a time where emotions were running high with no certain outcomes, but we decided to go ahead and fight. Marie was brilliant. I was overwhelmed at her dedication and determination to pursue justice not just for my husband but for us as a family.
Although in a case like this the ‘win’ is bitter sweet, at the end of an eighteen month battle I can finally say I carried out my husband’s last wishes. This was only possible with the support, professionalism and a belief in what is right shown by Marie Macdonald."