Associated Discrimination

Our team of Employment solicitors consists of dedicated specialists and lawyers who deal exclusively with employment law. The team have over 30 years’ experience collectively and have wide, in-depth knowledge of all employment matters and disputes.

You can be assured Lawson-West’s solicitors keep up to date with the latest legal developments and changes to bring you the best advice.

Lawson-West’s expert employment solicitors and lawyers have significant experience of cases where employees face associated discrimination in the workplace.

An often overlooked and misunderstood aspect of the protections offered by the Equality Act is the concept of associated discrimination. It is something that both employers and employees need to be aware of.

An employer must not directly discriminate against or harass an employee based on their association with a protected characteristic. If an employee is either harassed or treated less favourably not because of their own protected characteristic, but because of their association with a person with a protected characteristic, they are now protected. Associative discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 applies to race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment and sex.

The most important case of late, is that of Coleman v Attridge Law 2008, which was the catalyst for changes to legislation. Mrs Coleman’s son was born with a disability, a condition that led to severe breathing difficulties requiring specialised care. She was her son’s primary carer. She believed her employer did not want her to return to work after her maternity leave, and 3 years after her son’s birth, she took voluntary redundancy.

Mrs Coleman subsequently alleged constructive discriminatory dismissal and harassment on grounds of disability. She argued that because of her association with a disabled person and the manner in which she was treated, she was left with no option but to take voluntary redundancy.  Mrs Coleman’s victory widened the scope of associative discrimination from applying to race, religion or belief and sexual orientation, to disability and all diversity strands from both an employment and service delivery perspective.

If you have experienced associated discrimination at work, we can help. Please remember there are strict time limits in Employment claims and you should take good free legal advice as soon as possible.

In addition to No Win No Fee, Lawson-West solicitors act for our clients on a variety of other funding arrangements including Legal Expenses insurance funding. We can assess your case to decide which is the best funding option for you.

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough our employment solicitors and lawyers can discuss your employment law claim at any of our branches. In addition, we are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding your circumstances and potential claim.

If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 0116 212 1000 or 01858 445 480, alternatively fill in the free Contact Us form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.