Lawyer reaches settlement in pregnancy discrimination Employment Tribunal claim

by Redmans on August 27, 2013

  • SumoMe

A female lawyer at a Truro-based law firm has settled her Employment Tribunal claim against her former employer after she alleged that she had been discriminated against and dismissed because of her gender.

Ms Kate Baker, 33, started working for Follett Stock, a Truro-based law firm, in 2011 as a solicitor. However, the employment relationship appears to have deteriorated over a period of time and Ms Baker was dismissed from her employment at the firm in 2012. The exact reason for her dismissal is unclear but Ms Baker contended that she had been dismissed due to discriminatory reasons and subsequently submitted at the Employment Tribunal an unfair dismissal claim, sex-related harassment claim and sex discrimination claim.

The matter came to a Pre Hearing Review earlier this year, with Ms Baker claiming that Follett Stock’s defence had been served out of time and Follett Stock contending that Ms Baker’s claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal had no reasonable prospect of success. Ms Baker gave evidence to the Tribunal that the firm did not take a “light-hearted and informal approach” and that she had witnessed her boss, Mr Lingard, losing control in the office. She gave evidence that he had reduced one woman to tears and shouted at another female colleague about swapping desks. She also stated that she had been highly-regarded by Mr Lingard when she was single – including winning a prize in December 2011 – but that his attitude had changed after he found that she had started a relationship. Ms Baker stated in her witness statement that “Mr Lingard on many occasions told me that he did not want me in a relationship or to have babies. I have a text message from Mr Lingard’s wife which says “he (Lingard) does say he doesn’t want you in a relationship!!!”.

The firm denied all allegations of bullying and harassment in their Response and at the Pre-Hearing Review and stated that the company’s defence to the claims should be allowed even if it was submitted after the deadline.

It emerged today in This Is Cornwall that Ms Baker’s claim against Follett Stock has now settled for an undisclosed settlement. This means that the six-day Employment Tribunal scheduled to start in Exeter this week will now not go ahead and the parties will inform the Tribunal that the claim has settled.

Neither of the parties appears to have commented after the settlement – a fact which is not unusual as there are normally confidentiality clauses in the settlement agreements used.

Redmans Solicitors are no win no fee employment solicitors and unfair dismissal no win no fee solicitors

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