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Employment Law

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26 MAY 2015

CLFIS (UK) Ltd v Reynolds [2015] EWCA Civ 439; (2015) EMPLR 036

CLFIS (UK) Ltd v Reynolds [2015] EWCA Civ 439; (2015) EMPLR 036
30 April 2015

Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Longmore, Jackson and Underhill LJJ

If a manager, for non-discriminatory reasons, decides to dismiss on the basis of information provided by other managers who are motivated by discrimination, is the dismissing manager guilty of discrimination? The Court of Appeal holds he is not, because only the alleged discriminator’s mental processes are relevant - not those of others. The employer, however, could still be liable for discrimination because it is liable for the acts of the other managers.

The General Manager decided to dismiss R because of reports from other managers. The tribunal considered only the motivation of the General Manager, without considering the input from the other managers. That was inevitable because of the way R’s case had been argued, focussing only on the General Manager. The question for the Court of Appeal was whether, if unknown to the General Manager, the other managers had been motivated by discrimination (in this case on grounds of age), the General Manager should himself be treated as having discriminated. The Court of Appeal concluded that he should not. So that claim failed. Since R had never argued the case on the basis of age discrimination by the other managers, the tribunal never had a chance to consider the evidence that those other managers might have been motivated by her age and it was too late to raise that argument now.

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