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Employee with musculoskeletal condition was discriminated against after other employees used her desk, tribunal finds

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A House of Commons employee with a musculoskeletal condition has won claims of victimisation and disability discrimination after her specialist desk equipment was used by other employees while she was off sick.

The London Central employment tribunal found that the employer failed to make reasonable adjustments after its hot desking policy meant that she had to readjust her equipment every time she returned to her desk.

She was also victimised after disciplinary proceedings were commenced following a request to keep her desk area separate to the hot desking policy. She was prevented from attending various meetings in late 2017 and early 2018, which also amounted to victimisation.

The tribunal found that the employee was victimised when her line manager refused to interact with her during an isolated incident in June 2018. The respondent failed to provide reasonable adjustments when it failed to prevent her desk from being adjusted on 20 September.

It also found that she was victimised and subjected to discrimination arising from disability on 27 September, when the disciplinary proceedings were brought against her by Grant.

The tribunal found that during late 2017 and early 2018, the claimant was restricted from attending regular team meetings, and that this amounted to a detriment after she had raised a grievance. She was also a victim of discrimination arising from disability.

It found that her employer’s refusal to provide her with a seat near the window was not a failure to provide a reasonable adjustment. Other claims of victimisation, disability and sex discrimination, and sex and disability harassment were not upheld.

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