Belfast docker Martin Sheil suffered daily abuse at work because of his sexual orientation.
A tribunal upheld Mr Sheil’s complaint that he had been unfairly dismissed following an incident with another staff member who had been taking part in the abuse. An industrial tribunal found he had been subjected to comments which amounted to harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation over a period of weeks or months.
In November 2012 Mr Sheil was travelling on a work minibus when a colleague said: “Some people in here should come out of the closet.” Mr Sheil said the same man had made various indirect remarks about his personal life and sexual orientation during the previous year. The following day Mr Sheil was involved in an incident with the man, which resulted in him being dismissed for gross misconduct.
Setting a total award of £45,000 to Mr Sheil – £37,500 for his unfair dismissal and £7,500 for harassment at work – the tribunal stated that “the flaws in the investigatory and disciplinary procedure render the dismissal substantively unfair”. (click here for full article)