Stigma of discrimination claim makes offending employer liable if victim cannot find work

Employees who have suffered discrimination are entitled to receive ‘stigma damages’ because they will undoubtedly struggle to find new work, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

In the case of Chagger v Abbey National (2009), the court held that new employers could be reluctant to employ individuals who have previously brought discrimination claims against their employers. Any liability for such stigma loss remains with the original employer, it said.

Chagger, who had successfully brought a claim against his former employer Abbey National for unfair dismissal and racial discrimination, had unsuccessfully applied for 111 positions, using 26 recruitment agencies, according to

He claimed that he had been stigmatised because he had brought proceedings against his former employer.

Corinne Day, a trainee solicitor speaking on the legal news website, said: “It does not make any difference that the actions of the third party employer constitute unlawful victimisation and there is no requirement for the individual to bring a separate claim against the third party employer.”

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