A former history lecturer has challenged the dismissal procedures used by bosses at his former college.
James Meadow lost his job at Harlow College, which is based in the centre of Harlow, due to restructuring in 2007.
He claims that he was victimised because of his trade union activity and - along with former colleague Paul Hughes - is taking legal action.
Speaking at an employment tribunal, he said: "It was a devastating blow. The news appalled me. It was difficult going back into the classroom and later I broke down at home."
Mr Meadows was given the lowest score during an appraisal as part of the dismissal process.
He claimed that this was evidence that he was being treated detrimentally because of his trade union activity, which had seen him take part in industrial action in May and June 2007.
A spokesperson for the college said he was unable to comment for legal reasons.
The tribunal is expected to last into April.