Tribunal watch: Complaint about “tosser” insult not protected disclosure

tosser-swearing-profanity-protected-disclosure

An employment tribunal has given short shrift to a claim that a complaint about a line manager’s rudeness to a colleague, including allegations that the line manager called the employee a “tosser”, was a protected disclosure. Stephen Simpson rounds up the past week’s employment tribunal decisions.

Complaint about manager’s rudeness to colleague not “in the public interest”
In Newman v Riverside Building Supplies, the employment tribunal struck out whistleblowing claims brought by an individual who argued that he made a protected disclosure when he complained that his line manager had been rude to a colleague.

The claimant did not reasonably believe that he was making the disclosure “in the public interest”.

The claimant’s allegations were that his manager had said to a colleague “what the fuck are you looking at?” and called him a “tosser”. The claimant complained to the business owner, and later said that neither the owner nor the manager took his complaint seriously.

The claimant left his employment a few days later, and brought claims for automatic unfair dismissal and detriment for making a protected disclosure.

The employment tribunal focused on the requirement under whistleblowing laws that the claimant reasonably believe that he was making the disclosure “in the public interest”.

The tribunal found that the claimant’s complaint to his employer fell some way short of meeting this requirement.

Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

Union rep blacklisted after complaining about manager’s anti-scouse jibes
A union rep blacklisted after complaining about anti-Liverpool jibes on his manager’s Facebook page said he was proud to stand up for scousers after winning an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, reports the Liverpool Echo.

€3,000 award for unfair dismissal of shoemaker
A Republic of Ireland tribunal has found that a shoemaker’s summary dismissal was unfair after his employer discovered he had gone into business for himself, according to the Irish Examiner.

Cash-strapped Wolverhampton Council spends £19m on equal pay settlements
Cash-strapped Wolverhampton City Council set aside almost £19 million to deal with equal pay claims in 2013/14 alone – but lawyers say there could still be thousands of workers owed money for the years they were underpaid, says the Express & Star.

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