Employment law quiz: answers

1 (a)

In Martin v SS Photay and Associates, a 70-year-old cleaner was retired via a note left in her cleaning cupboard. Although she was over the minimum retirement age, the tribunal found that she had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on age grounds.

2 Yes

The employment tribunal found that the changes made by Freshfields to its final salary pension scheme were discriminatory on grounds of age, but justified because they were a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

3 (a)

Judge Roy Pearson Jr originally sued Custom Cleaners under Washington DC’s consumer protection laws. He claimed compensation for “mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort” plus compensation for the store’s apparent failure to deliver promises made in advertisements that read “satisfaction guaranteed” and “same-day service”. Pearson lost his claim and was ordered to pay costs.

4 (c) and (d)

In Harris v NKL Automotive and another, Mr Harris complained that he had been unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on the ground that he was a Rastafarian. The tribunal found that while his dreadlocked hair had contributed to his dismissal, his dreadlocks were too untidy for him to continue in his position as a chauffeur. As long as it was possible to have tidy dreadlocks, the tribunal ruled that it was not discriminatory to dismiss someone for having untidy dreadlocks.

5 (b)

Personneltoday.com reported on Valentine’s Day that 43% of workers have dated a colleague at least once in their careers. One in five went on to marry a colleague, and 12% said they would like to date a colleague, according to a survey carried out by CareerBuilder.co.uk. (We aren’t ruling out answers (a), (c) or (d) though.)

6 (b)

Mr Sharpe told a tribunal that people were “watching porn while eating breakfast”, but was told by a naval officer that “life at sea goes with porn. You need to learn to live with it”.

7 (a)

The Health Act 2006 outlawed smoking in all enclosed public spaces and workplaces with effect from 2 April 2007 in Wales, 30 April in Northern Ireland and 1 July in England.

8 (c)

Mr Sibindana could read the words ‘Health Centre’ on the note, but could not read the rest of it. According to Private Eye, the magistrate told him that: “This is probably the most absurd case I have ever presided over… It is such a basic error that real criminals will laugh at you.”

9 (b)

This comment was made by Michael Gibbons in A Review of Employment Dispute Resolution in Great Britain, which was published by the DTI in March 2007. His recommendation is that the statutory dispute resolution procedures be repealed.

10 (c)

Mr Simpson sent a female customer a picture of himself in a bubble-filled bath while drinking whisky. The customer complained, and Mr Simpson lost his job.

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