Disability Discrimination Victory for Gulf War Veteran
A Gulf war veteran was a victim of disability discrimination by the Department for Work & Pensions, the Liverpool Employment Tribunal has ruled. The veteran, Mr. Bal brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal for Disability Discrimination against the Department after being dismissed from his job while he was signed off due to his epilepsy.
Wirral based law firm, Percy, Hughes and Roberts represented Mr. Marek Bal who was diagnosed with epilepsy (grand mal seizures) in April 1997. Mr. Bal served with the Royal Air Force from 1980 to October 1992. During his service he was posted to the Persian Gulf as tactical Helicopter Support during the gulf conflict.
In April 2006, Mr. Bal had been clear of seizures for over a year and was therefore medically cleared and permitted to look for work which he immediately did. Mr. Bal obtained a job at the Department for Work & Pensions. Mr. Bal enjoyed his job immensely and was progressing well and gaining great satisfaction from being back in the workplace again.
Unfortunately in February 2007 Mr. Bal suffered a seizure at work, the first he had had in eighteen months, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He returned to work in March but then later that month he had another seizure while at home alone. In May 2007, while Mr. Bal was signed off work by his doctor for post epileptic anxiety under the instruction of the Departments own Occupational Health doctor, he was dismissed by letter by the Department for failure of his probation period due to his absence.
To be dismissed when he was signed off work because of his disability was very upsetting and stressful for Mr. Bal who had already lost all of his self confidence; he now also lost all confidence that he would ever get an alternative job with his epilepsy and with a dismissal now on his record.
The unanimous judgment of the Employment Tribunal was that by failing to make reasonable adjustments and by dismissing Mr. Bal in his absence he had suffered Disability Discrimination.
Mrs. Lindsey Knowles of Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors, said that she was delighted at this decision of disability discrimination and that she whole heartedly agreed with the Employment Judge that this is a classic example of a large Government department not dealing with a disabled employee in the way one would expect.
Percy, Hughes and Roberts Solicitors specialise in employment law and disability discrimination in the workplace. To speak to one of our solicitors email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 666 9090
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