27 February 2007
Sacked employee wins landmark unfair dismissal ruling
A woman who was sacked when she planned to adopt a child has won a landmark tribunal case against her former employers.
Anne Coulombeau, 24, of Nottingham took Enterprise Rent-A-Car to court for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination after the company accused her of "dishonesty" and sacked her after she attended courses to prepare her for the adoption of a child.
However, her branch manager John Houghton had previously been overheard saying that if Ms Coulombeau adopted she would be "no bloody good to me", with Ms Colombeau's need to take time-off as a mother perceived as the actual reason for her dismissal.
Commenting on the outcome Ms Colombeau, who is thought to have won a sum in the thousands, said: "I was determined to prove what they did to me was wrong.
"It was never about money. I just wanted an apology, someone to say 'we didn't treat you very nicely'," she added.
The case is considered by legal experts to be the first time that a court has decided on an unfair dismissal verdict where adoption leave is involved.