Lionel’ s problem is that he is being harassed at the workplace by his male colleagues who snigger at him at the workplace. They laugh at him for the way he dresses behind his back. Lionel feels that his male colleagues do this to him because he is an openly gay male. The acts amount to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. He also feels that they are laughing at him because he likes to wear brightly coloured ties. Again on the morning of a Tuesday, Lionel arrived at his work earlier than usual.
He heard his male colleagues referring to him as “ a big girl’ s blouse” . This remark, though not intended to be heard by him upset Lionel who has become sensitive on the issue because the apparent harassment caused to him by his male colleagues. The words “ big fairy” are evident of the fact that the Line Manager also discriminates against him. They are used colloquially to refer to a gay male and are offensive in themselves. Thus not only his colleagues but even his superior has discriminated indirectly against Lionel.
Law provides remedies for various kinds of discrimination including race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age etc. Recently, there has been regulation for discrimination on account of sexual orientation. Harassment in general Harassment in general, and as suffered by Lionel is prohibited by law which provides that A person must not pursue a course of conduct— (a) which amounts to harassment of another, and (b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other5 Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation The colleagues of Lionel would be liable for harassing him as per the following provision, 5.
— (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, a person (“ A” ) subjects another person (“ B” ) to harassment where, on grounds of sexual orientation, A engages in unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of— (a) violating B’ s dignity; or (b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B. (2) Conduct shall be regarded as having the effect specified in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) only if, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of B, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect. 6 Further, according to the following, the employer i. e.
the firm Great Movers will be liable for harassing Lionel. 6 --- (3) It is unlawful for an employer, in relation to employment by him at an establishment in Great Britain, to subject to harassment a person whom he employs or who has applied to him for employment. 7 Thus the acts of the firm in tolerating, aiding and abetting the harassment of Lionel done by his colleagues is illegal, and Lionel can very well seek redressal in the Employment Tribunal.
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