16 July 2008
Church worker wins £35k after tribunal rules he was bullied
A gay church worker has been awarded compensation of £35,000 after an employment tribunal ruled he had been the victim of bullying.
Stephen Price left his job at Coleg Trefeca - a lay training centre owned by the the Presbyterian Church in Wales - after experiencing discriminatory treatment at the hands of his manager Mair Jones.
The 25-year-old was reportedly labelled a "stupid poof" and given pink fairy toilet paper as a gift.
His employer had denied his claims of sexual harassment, constructive dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
However, a recent tribunal decided that the church's investigation into Mr Price's claims had been unfair.
It awarded him £25,000 for injury to his feelings and £11,924 for constructive dismissal.
Employment judge Dr Rachel Davies said: "Mair Jones treated [Mr Price] less favourably than if he were a heterosexual man. She subjected him to considerable harassment."
Mark Nolan, solicitor from Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "The award in the Price case, which is at the higher end of top scale of awards for injury to feelings, reflects the effectiveness of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations and perhaps may serve as a partial counter balance to the controversial decision in the Lillian Ladele case, where the claimant was awarded damages after stating she was harassed and discriminated against for refusing to officiate at same sex civil partnership ceremonies.
"The Sexual Orientation Regulations will be covered in detail at a free seminar - Pink Law: Know Your Rights at Home, Work and Play - in conjunction with Stonewall and will be held at the Malmaison Hotel, Manchester, on 18th September 2008 from 18.30 BST."