An asthmatic has been awarded £17,000 after her former boss failed to stop
smoking in front of her at work.
Karen Whitehead, 34, was employed at the Grandby Island Community Centre in
Plymouth for just 45 days, but because she was registered as disabled, she was
able to sue for unfair dismissal after being sacked for taking 16 days off
Whitehead complained about the smoky atmosphere and was moved to a
non-smoking reception, but her employers failed to enforce the no smoking rule.
An employment tribunal ruled that Whitehead was discriminated against under
the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The centre plans to appeal.
The ruling follows EC plans to draft new legislation that would stop smoking
at work. As reported in Personnel Today (9 September), a complete ban on
smoking in the workplace is closer to reality after the European commissioner
for health, David Byrne, said he intends to introduce Europe-wide legislation.