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Discrimination: Focus on the Discriminator

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 Thanks to James Medhurst of Employment Law Advocates for preparing this case summary

Is it discriminatory to dismiss after relying upon the reports of colleagues motivated by discrimination?

No, held the Court of Appeal in CLFIS v Dr Mary Reynolds.

The Claimant lost a claim for age discrimination because it was found that the dismissing officer had no discriminatory motivation. On appeal, she argued that her claim should have succeeded because the dismissing officer had relied on a report by colleagues alleged to be motivated by discrimination.

The Court of Appeal held that a claim of discrimination against a dismissing officer should be decided by considering the motivation of that person alone. It is permissible to claim that the person making the report to the dismissing officer has committed an act of discrimination, for which the employer would be vicariously liable, but this should be pleaded separately, via an amendment if necessary.

This made no difference to the outcome of the case because the Claimant had not relied upon the allegations about the other managers. The decision of the employment tribunal was upheld