Sex discrimination case against Equality and Human Rights Commission dismissed by tribunal

A sex discrimination case against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been dismissed as “not well-founded”, a tribunal has ruled.

In July this year, employee Brid Johal accused the EHRC of gender discrimination after she claimed she was not told of a promotion that came up while she was on maternity leave in 2008. She also alleged detriment in employment, claiming she was “mistreated, penalised and pushed out” of the chance to apply for a more senior position because she was female.

The three-day hearing followed a string of internal disputes at the watchdog, set up to eradicate prejudice and discrimination at work.

But the tribunal has released its ruling, dismissing Johal’s claims. A statement said: “The unanimous judgment of the tribunal is that the claimant’s claims of sex discrimination and detriment in employment are not well-founded.”

Johal had worked as a PA in the commissioner’s office for seven years, and was transferred across to the EHRC from the former Commission for Racial Equality. The newly-created ‘level 4′ post, an office manager position, became available as part of restructuring in early 2008.

During the tribunal, the EHRC said Johal became aware of the new post at the same time as everyone else, when an e-mail was circulated in February 2008. In a meeting in March 2008, the EHRC said that Debbie Woods, Johal’s line manager, went through the new structure with her and at no point did Johal express a wish to fill the vacancy, or complain of the lack of communication during her maternity leave.

The EHRC did not want to comment further.

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