Gay engineer awarded £175,000 in discrimination claim

An engineer who was passed over for promotion and subjected to homophobic comments from work colleagues has been awarded £175,000 compensation.

Peter Allen had worked for the aerospace component manufacturer Paradigm Precision as a quality manager since 2012.

He claimed that he was in line to become general manager of Paradigm’s site in Burnley but then found himself subjected to harassment and discrimination in 2018 after coming out as gay while applying for adoption leave because he and his husband wanted to start a family.

He claimed the company decided against promoting him because he was going to be off for a year on parental leave.

He then found himself being subjected to homophobic abuse from colleagues. He said he had to endure taunts about being camp and had colleagues making limp-wristed gestures towards him. There were other incidents including one in which an email was sent to him depicting two stereotypical gay men with offensive comments directed towards him.

In November 2018, he left Paradigm and brought claims of discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

The Employment Tribunal found that he had been subjected to “harassment related to sexual orientation”. It also found that he had been overlooked for promotion because he wanted to take additional parental leave.

The tribunal rejected his other claims of harassment, victimisation and direct discrimination.

Allen was awarded a total of just under £175,000 to compensate for unfair dismissal, injury to feelings and loss of earnings plus interest. The figure also included £18,078 for the company’s failure to follow the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures.

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