Home » Website updates May to June 2020

Website updates May to June 2020

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Last updated 26th June 2020.

New tribunal decisions on stammering

Customer service job

In G v British Airways, the employment tribunal refused to allow a claimant to amend his claim to add disability discrimination related to stammering. From listening to him, the tribunal said there was a “discernible, very mild stammer” which the tribunal very much doubted was a disability.

In any event, the sheer weight of evidence explaining the rejection of his job application on the basis that he just did not demonstrate the right competencies for this customer relations role, showed that any stammer played no effective role in the employer’s decision.

Stammering starting in adulthood

In C v Spencer & Arlington. the employment tribunal rejected a claim that an employee had a stammer which (he said) started in adulthood. He contended that the stammer was why he had raised his voice in a meeting, but he gave a different explanation at the time. He had not told the employer he had a stammer. Also the tribunal said that none of the employer’s witnesses had ever perceived a stammer.

Adjustments in court proceedings

Employment tribunal decision in L v Superdrug added as short example of adjustments made for stammering in tribunal proceedings.

Update of 2012 tribunal case on stammering

M v Asda updated for news report of final employment tribunal decision. A worker was dismissed after speaking to his cousin and co-worker in what was described as a loud and threatening manner. Rather like C v Spencer & Arlington above, he said it was his stammer that caused him to raise his voice unusually. The tribunal seems to have held his stammer was a disability. Even so his disability discrimination claim failed.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) updated, 25th June.

Voice risk analysis

Voice risk analysis page updated, including:

  • possibility that seeking to hide the stammer (involving ‘deceit’) might trigger a negative reading, and
  • quite apart from any voice risk analysis system, a service provider etc looking to detect fraud may be open to challenge if it does not train staff in how effects of stammering (or other disabilities) may be mistaken as dishonesty.

American firefighter case

It is reported that an American claim by someone rejected as a firefighter because of their stammer was settled with payment of agreed compensation: Aspiring firefighter blocked by stutter wins settlement from City of Milwaukee (eu.jsonline.com), June 2020.

Link added on Ohio firefighter case – Columbus v Liebhart and Examples of jobs>Firefighter.

Employment tribunal fees

Employment Tribunal fees no longer payable page updated, including reports that the government is interested in re-introducing the fees: Government could bring back tribunal fees, reports suggest (personneltoday.com).

20th anniversary of stammeringlaw, 1999-2019