Client success story: Defending a claim of discrimination
Posted on 25th October 2022 at 15:02
Our client ran a small plumbing business. After dismissing an employee with only three months service with the business for misconduct, including being rude to customers and smoking in the workplace, the employee issued legal proceedings claiming that the dismissal was discriminatory.
The business did not have legal insurance to turn to for help. Although our client felt the claim was unfounded, he was unsure of how to defend it. He was worried about the possible impact on the business he had been running for over 25 years and whether it would recover financially from a legal battle. Fighting the claim would be expensive and, as the claim was for discrimination, the damages could be significant if he lost.
Our client was immediately relieved to hand the matter over to Andrea, feeling reassured that it was being handled by somebody with specialist legal knowledge and skills.
When he first contacted us, our client was aggrieved by the claim and preoccupied with a sense of unfairness as he believed he had a fair reason for the dismissal - misconduct. Andrea examined the evidence and provided an objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the claim. She was able to advise on the potential costs of drafting a defence to the claim and defending the claim through the full tribunal process, and the possible outcomes at tribunal. This helped the client to consider his options from a commercial point of view, and how best to protect his livelihood.
Andrea worked with the client to draft a robust response form, setting out the weaknesses of the claim and the strength of his defence. This put our client in a strong position to negotiate a modest settlement, which the claimant accepted. Agreeing settlement at this stage worked out much cheaper and less stressful for the client rather than fighting the case to a full hearing, removed the risk of losing and resolved the matter swiftly. As a confidential agreement, it also protected his business from information about the claims being shared more widely and causing reputational damage. It also prevent the former employee from making any future claims against the business.
Our client was relieved to have the matter resolved, and to be able to move on with certainty that his business was protected from large losses, and he has preserved his livlihood.
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