12 January 2009
F1 team owner accused of discrimination
A Formula 1 (F1) team owner has been accused by a former employee of discrimination and unfair dismissal.
McLaren chief Ron Dennis fired engineering graduate Peter Boland in 2007.
Mr Boland, who had worked for Mr Dennis for five years prior to being sacked, was employed by Absolute Taste but was seconded to Greyscape, a private company that flies Mr Dennis' jet.
He lost his job after falling asleep on board a flight which was carrying Mr Dennis, whose F1 team includes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Pedro de la Rosa, among others.
Mr Boland claims that he was in fact dismissed because colleagues thought he was gay, which altered Mr Dennis' attitude towards him.
He was reportedly offered £8,000 in June last year to not take his case to court, an offer which he refused.
The tribunal, which is taking place in Southampton, continues and Mr Dennis - along with his companies - denies the allegations.